Weekly News – Sunday 10th March 2024

Hello, I hope this e-mail finds you well.

It’s been a great week for Westbury Harriers, with members smashing races all over the world plus the final of the Gwent cross country in Pont-y-pwl. Those not racing have been training away (if Strava is anything to go by), and I see many a harrier with a marathon in their sights. With this is mind the Saturday long run to Portishead has been very well received- I believe a group ran a twenty-miler yesterday, racking up that mileage! So, grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and let’s have a dive into the week’s events.


Sandy Masters, becomes women’s no 1.

Sandy Masters travelled to Tokyo to become the UK’s no 1 V65 lady at the marathon distance. Not only did she do this but she is a whopping 43 minutes faster than her closest rival. This completes her goal of running all the world major marathons, no small feat in itself.

A world-class performance and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving runner. I know Sandy inspires many in the club myself included,  BRAVO SANDY.

Race Report: Parc Pont-y-Pwl Gwent League

The men’s and women’s teams were both out in force on Saturday for a very muddy and very hilly bit of action. The men were fighting to secure their place in the league and the women to see if they would podium.

First up was the ladies and I hand my virtual microphone over to Tamsin….

“Thank-you Ben. Well it was a fantastic finish for the senior and master’s ladies at the final Gwent League fixture at Parc Pont-y-pŵl on Saturday. Our overall team positions were very close going into this race, so it was exciting to see where we would finish. Although excited was not what the ladies looked like beforehand. Snow in various parts of Bristol in the morning meant they were all eagerly awaiting a message to say the race was cancelled. Their faces showed displeasure at the cold temperature, the sight of the hill and lots of youngsters finishing their races covered in mud. But these are the WH Gwent League ladies and they are not put off. They all went on to run so well. Such a great team effort, thank-you.

Conditions were tougher than last year where it was dry underfoot. We have had several seasons of cross country where it has been dry, with little mud. People tend to forget this was fairly typical cross country conditions. Around the bottom of the course was muddy, but the hill is so steep clearly the water drains off!

Spikes were definitely needed. You saw lots of people struggling on the downhills and muddy corner sections in trail shoes, except Hannah.L who like a gazelle, bounded round to be the first Westbury home in 7th. The rest of the A team all had their best placed positions of the season. Steph didn’t enjoy the downhills but finished strongly, Becky making the top 30 (and getting her Gwent league t-shirt for top 10% of her age category) and Emma showing she is back to pre-injury form having a great run inside the top 40. The B team couldn’t have packed in any better coming in one after each other! Hannah.B getting back to fitness after her injury, Yvette who has run consistently well all season and with Sarah and Antonia determined to get the V55 team to victory. Shame that Sarah and Yvette had to miss one of the 5 fixtures. Our C team saw our age group 45s and 55s bringing in more points for the overall standings. Helen having a cracking run and great all round season. A welcome debut for Maggie for the WH Gwent team. Emma-Jane and Heidi who ran really strongly, both love racing and always finish smiling. Then came our D team with our awesome V65s, Fliss and Eithne both ran strongly to take the V65 team title once again. The V65’s were our only age group team to have a clear lead going into this fixture.

Special mentions to Catherine who came and ran after not long recovering from illness which forced her to not be able to take part in the previous fixture, this made a big difference to our V35 team, so thank-you. To Judy who does not enjoy this type of course/conditions but with lots of our usual V55s on holiday came along to support the team. Sharon who has not been able to train as much as usual recently and again came to support the team, wonderful photo with Eithne at the end showing XC is fun! Yvette, for once again making Pontypool part of birthday celebrations.

A team (Hannah Large SL 7th, Tamsin Chick V45 20th, Steph Cummins SL 28th, Becky Lee V35 30th, Emma Woodworth V45 38th), B team (Catherine Treble V35 54th Hannah Batchelor SL 55th, Yvette Casallas V35 56th, Sarah Andrews V55 57th, Antonia Gooder V55 61st), C team (Helen Sawyer V55 89th, Maggie Salter V55 94th, Emma-Jane Orchard V45 110th, Heidi Andrews V45 121st, Judy Knight V55 143rd), D team (Fliss Russell V65 153rd, Sharon Sayle V55 175, Eithne Noonan V65 176th). 198 finishers.

After the race there was plenty of smiles, post-race coffee and snacks and lots of chat about how to run downhill more effectively! This is the bit they will remember, the social day out, the team atmosphere and their successful season. This is what I hope anyway, so they will all be back October 2024, to do it all again.

On the day at Pontypool the Senior team came 3rd, B Team 7th, C team 18th, D Team 45th out of 58 teams. We had the highest placing B and C teams out of any clubs on the day.

And how did we get on overall? Very well is the answer. A great set of team results.

Final Team Standings

Division 1 – 2nd
Reserve Division – 1st
U23 Team – 13th
V35 Team – 2nd
V45 Team – 2nd
V55 Team – 1st
V65 Team – 1st

Congratulations to people who did well over the season. A particular mention to Eithne who was ready to hang up her spikes at the end of last season, but I am so glad she didn’t as has run one of her strongest seasons to date. To win the V65s category is a tremendous achievement.

Individual standings
Overall seniors – Tamsin Chick 9th, Becky Lee 14th
V35 Tamsin Chick 3rd, Becky Lee 7th
V45s – Emma Woodworth 6th
V55s – Kate Hoffen 5th, Helen Sawyer 6th, Sarah Andrews 7th, Sandra Sforza 15th, Antonia Gooder 17th
V65s – Eithne Noonan 1st, Fliss Russell 2nd

A team 2023/2024 – 11 ladies made up the A team over the season.

  1. Catherine Treble (3)
  2. Tamsin Chick (4)
  3. Becky Lee (3)
  4. Hannah Batchelor (1)
  5. Debbie Cleary (1)
  6. Rhiannon Paton (1)
  7. Hannah Large (4)
  8. Katie Hughes (2)
  9. Steph Cummins (3)
  10. Olivia Zeltner (1)
  11. Emma Woodworth (1)

5 people did all 5 fixtures – Tamsin Chick, Becky Lee, Emma Woodworth, Helen Sawyer, Eithne Noonan

A huge thank-you to the 53 ladies in total who ran over the season. We can’t do it without your input. Every person contributes and as always I am extremely grateful for you to giving up your weekends to be part of the team.”


“Thanks, Tamsin, and a well-deserved finish for the ladies.
Next up it was the men’s turn, and I have Geraint joining me here to fill us in on the action. Over to you Geraint…

“Hello Ben and can I just start by saying what a top bloke you are. Well, what a way to finish the Gwent League season! The greats of Welsh rugby have graced the turf at Pont-y-pŵl Park but on Saturday it was the turn of the greats of Westbury Harriers to make the iconic location their own. From the under 11s to the oldest of our seniors, every single runner wore the vest with pride.

The senior men put in a great shift over the 3 laps with the hill feeling particularly challenging on the first let alone the last lap for those of us nearer the back of the field.

Captain Ben Wood gave the team another rousing team talk following the team photo with talk of V formations and “knowing what we had to do” – yes, run up a horrible hill too many times Ben! With those thoughts in our minds it was time to get into race mode and see what state the course was in after nine other races. And it was muddy, so a massive thanks to all those who went before us, we really appreciated the extra effort you’d made to provide that extra little challenge. I really hope we can repay the favour one day!

In the race itself it was a good day for the Large family with Iain matching wife Hannah‘s performance by being the first Westbury home in an excellent 26th place (OK so Hannah was marginally better placed with 7th overall so can claim the family bragging rights!) . Jack Derrick continued his good form and was second home in 51st place with club championship point chasing Alec Sampson coming home in 54th place. There was a cluster of Westbury men around the 90s with Alastair Blackwood 91st and Club Captain Ben Wood 92nd to complete the A team’s scoring.

The B team was made up of Chris Treble in 94th, George Griffiths 160th, George Pickering 192nd, Paul Stuart 193rd and Geraint Torrington 206th.

Mark Munday smiled his way around the course to power down the touchline and be the final scorer for the team in 237th.

Following a recce lap in trail shoes and slipping and sliding everywhere, Ben Stone decided not to race and Paul Stuart wished he’d had a bit more grip (or perhaps should have just slid on his backside!) as he made hard work of the downhill with Geraint catching him on laps one and two, but Paul then had the better hill strength and powered away on the third lap to leave Geraint with too much to do on the final downhill.

The A team finished 9th overall in Division 1 which given they were in 12th and final place after the opening fixture at Pembrey really goes to show that we have the talent at the club, we just need to be consistent.

The first team scorers for the five fixtures were made up of 19 different men with Jack Derrick being the most consistent performer:

Pembrey- Anthony Glover, Jack Derrick, Chris Treble, George Griffiths, Paul Stuart

Cardiff – Alex Hamblin, Josh Daly, Rob Poole, Elliott Chard, Jack Derrick

Blaise Castle – Will Massey, Oli Beale, Ben Rawlins, Greg Hayward, Anthony Glover

Margam – Seamus Robinson, Ben Rawlins, Matthew Cant, Iain Large, Jack Derrick

Pont-y-pŵl – Iain Large, Jack Derrick, Alex Sampson, Alastair Blackwood, Ben Wood

Over the season we had 39 men represent the club; thank you to each and every one of you:

Adam Busby, Adrian Alamo Sanz, Alan Uren , Alastair Blackwood, Alex Hamblin , Alex Sampson, Anthony Glover, Ben Rawlins, Ben Wood , Chris Treble, Daniel Ewing , Elliott Chard , Ewan Kilgour, George Griffiths, George Pickering, Geraint Torrington, Greg Hayward, Harro Veldman, Harry Waugh, Iain Large, Ian Gawinowski, Jack Derrick, Jeffrey Tozer, Joe Addrison, Josh Daly, Mark Andrews, Mark Munday, Martin Fielding, Matthew Cantt, Oli Beale, Paul Stuart, Paul Turner, Richard Hughes, Rich Standerwick, Robert Poole, Scott Campbell, Seamus Robinson, Tim Clothier, Will Massey

There were four ever present runners in George Griffiths, George Pickering, Geraint Torrington and Jack Derrick.

So what do we do now that the cross country season is over? We get ready for the next one of course! The Gwent League will be back in October, but the rescheduled Nationals will take place in September so a gentle start to the cross country season!

And the spikes, do they have another season in them? Probably.


Well done to Christopher Driscoll, Rachel Liston, Carys Durie and Lorna Miller for running the Newport Half!

Carys was 10th female overall and Rachel grabbed a second place in the V40!

I know both Chris and Lorna have been improving at a rapid rate and Lorna just missed out on a top twenty place. Will be watching these two in future.

Brilliant running!




SENIOR: Mathew Cant has been a member for around a year and has represented the club at the Midlands and National road relays. His XC debut was at Margam Park where he secured valuable points by placing 50th!
JUNIOR: Laura Curtis joined Westbury around 18 months ago and through hard work and determination she has improved her fitness and confidence. She has even represented the club at both Margam Park and Blaise XC. Well done Laura.


SENIOR. Eithne Noonan has had a fantastic XC season winning the Gwent league V65 title and being part of the v65 winning team! Her dedication to turning up and giving it her all has been great to see.
JUNIOR. Maeve Robinson has fought back from injury to secure 9th place in both Margam park and Pont-y-pwl XC races and finished 9th overall. A worthy member of the month.


Want to share any news, race stories or results, then please email: communication@westburyharriers.co.uk or you can post on the WH Facbook Group Page. We love to hear about everyone’s achievements and adventures.        


British Masters Open Road Relays – Saturday 25th May

Westbury Harriers will be entering teams into the BMAF Road Relays at Mallory Park, Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire, LE9 7QE on Sat 25th May. Our teams did exceptionally well at this event last year so it would be great to have a good turnout in all age groups. The club will pay the entry and provide some support with travel costs. We car share where possible.

Each leg is 5k on a mainly flat tarmac surface.

Categories and stages
FV35 team of 4

FV45, FV55 and FV65 teams of 3

If you would like to take part in this race, then please get in touch manager.vet.women@westburyharriers.co.uk

For more information see the British Masters website https://bmaf.org.uk/

TRAINING THIS WEEK, Commencing 11th of March


Please remember all groups now leave Coombe Dingle promptly at 6:30pm, torches and bright/reflective clothing are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


From February track session fees (+admin fee) will be taken through RunTogether like other sessions, so there will be no need to pay Yate directly, as the club will do this. Please do cancel if you can’t make the session as the track sessions are popular and there has been a waiting list in recent weeks. As before, if RunTogether doesn’t refund you automatically please message Tamsin. Sign up HERE.

This week the session is:

Goal: more distance @ slightly slower than 5k pace

2 x 400m @5k pace/100m recovery

3 x 1000m @  slightly slower than 5k pace/200m recovery

4 x 200m @ quicker than 5k pace/100m recovery

If you run regularly at Yate or plan to give track races a go this season. Do make sure you have taken advantage of our partnership with Yate AC and joined Yate for free as an associate Westbury Harriers member. https://westburyharriers.co.uk/membership/yate-partnership/


Fliss has been doing a fantastic job recently leading the weekly sessions. A few people are also qualifying for their LiRF course to help out too. These sessions are covered over the next few months (thanks Tamsin for covering last week) so please book on via RunTogether HERE.

Meet every Wednesday at 12pm at the traffic lights by Saville Road on the Downs.



14th March = HILL SESSION !

Location will be set on night, local to Coombe dingle.
Headtorches, road shoes and reflective clothing advisable.

Diary Dates

 DID YOU KNOW? You can view all events on our calendar HERE

Key – Red = Key club team racesGreen = Club Championship raceBlue = Club Centenary/Other events
Saturday 16th March 2024: Masters Open Cross Country ChampionshipsCorwen, Wales. (Men/Women masters V35, V45, V55, V65 plus)
Sunday 17th March 2024: The Big Cheese: https://www.cheddarrunningclub.co.uk/big-cheese 15 glorious miles of off-road running in the Mendips!
Saturday 23th March: Midland 12/6 stage road relays, Sutton Park (Any questions please speak to your Team manager)Sign up – Men’s: https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/WestburyHarriersRunningClub/Runs/Summary/12cc3925-7cf5-439a-81b2-72f734750116Sign up – Women’s: https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/WestburyHarriersRunningClub/Runs/Summary/ad9cfa1f-b931-41d3-8a1f-f732d352f573
Saturday 23rd March: Club Awards Evening at St Peter’s Hall, The Drive, Henleaze, BS9 4LD. Time TBC, but probably around 6pm.
Thursday 4th April: Weston Prom series (5 miles)
Sunday 7th April: Exe to Axe (a bit of a journey, but a brilliant race!) 22 miles of coast path from Exmouth to Seaton.Link: https://www.sidmouthrunningclub.co.uk/jps-exe-to-axe-2024/
Sunday 21st April: London Marathon
Thursday 25th April 2024: Club AGM after training at Coombe Dingle. Senior training will begin earlier at 6.30pm this evening.
Saturday 27th April: Butcombe Trail Ultra Marathon (50 or 56 mile options)
Saturday 18th May: Formal Dinner for Club Centenary celebration. Location: Bristol Hotel (Details have been posted on Facebook, info on how to book will be emailed soon)
Friday 24th May – First 10k in the Towpath series including the Mob Match
Saturday 25th May: Masters Road Relays, Leicester (Team managers will complete entries)
Tuesday 11th June – Clevedon Midsummer 10k – a fast flat local 10k
Sunday 23rd June: All Club Event, with activities for juniors and seniors followed by food at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex



Editor this week – Ben Wood