Weekly News – Sunday 11th February 2024

Westbury Harriers Weekly News

Hello, it is my turn top take the helm of the Westbury email this week, and what a week! As you may have realised it is our Centenary week. We had loads going on and I will give you a brief overview of what went down plus the usual training updates and fixtures.
Ben Wood


I have lifted Geraint’s* great piece on Westbury Harrier’s history below as it is a good overview of how far we have come (Best read in a thick Welsh accent).
*Fun fact: Geraint’s cross country spikes actually pre-date Westbury Harrier’s birthday.

“Happy birthday to us!!!

A little over a hundred years ago a runner called Gilbert Walker thought it would be a good idea if the Westbury village men formed their own running club.

He booked a room on February 8th 1924 at the White Lion Hotel in Westbury village and the club known as Westbury Harriers was formed. The subs were set at 2/- for over 18s and 1/6d for those under 18.

The women’s section was formed in April 1928 and as a club we’ve achieved a lot of success since that inaugural meeting.

The club has produced numerous international athletes, won many national and regional titles and has grown to a club with in excess of 500 members of all ages.

Did those present at that very first meeting ever envisage the club becoming what it is today? What will the future hold for the club? The future’s bright, the future’s Westbury!

Tonight we head back to the White Lion to celebrate our first 100 years and to look forward to the next 100!”

The Centenary Week:


We kicked off with our usual Monday tempo sessions, but with runners asked to wear their Westbury vests. It was great to see loads of white and blue runners running around Westbury – on – Trym. All groups stopped at the White Lion for a photo opportunity!



We had a good group out at Yate track, braving the rain. ITV were going to sent a TV crew along, but rain stopped play. However, they will be back this Tuesday, so if you can wear your Westbury vest and go along, we can get a good crew on TV!


All groups ran to see the Bristol light show on our informal club run. It seemed pretty much every other running club in Bristol had the same idea, but I am well informed Westbury just ‘did it better!’


Thursday was our birthday! We had our interval session on the infamous ‘Elmlea loop’ at 6.30. Crazy to think when Harriers were formed it would have been fields, perhaps a long-run route for the runners back then? It was a great session and after some headed for the White Lion for the club centenary dinner. A sold-out dinner and a fantastic turnout of harriers old and new, young and old. Many commented how fitting it was that we could have our celebrations in the very same pub on the very same night as the club was formed.


Information on this week’s Senior Club sessions.

Please ensure sessions are booked in advance through RunTogether for seniors. It makes it easier for our planning if you sign up earlier rather than later as we keep to a safe ratio of leaders to runners.

(If RunTogether doesn’t refund you automatically please message Tamsin and she will process manually, as said before RunTogether is unfortunately a bit ad hoc on this front).

Monday Night Tempo Session: Move up Monday!

It’s back! Moving up a group can be daunting, particularly if you haven’t run with the group above before. This is a formal opportunity to give it a go. Leaders will be aware that they might have people moving up and be ready to look after you. So if you have been running towards the front of your current group and have been considering giving it a try, do so this week on Monday 12th February!

Please remember all groups now leave Coombe Dingle promptly at 18:30, torches and bright / reflective clothing are Highly Recommended.

Tuesday Night Trail Run:

Please do come along and join us, we adapt the sessions to the group and run at the pace everybody is comfortable with. Please book on via RunTogether. Head or chest torch mandatory. If you have trail shoes this is the run to wear them.

Hannah, Richard, Harro & Josh

Tuesday Track Sessions:


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.

This week’s session is:

More distance with 5k pace or quicker:


3 X (4 X 400M/100M JOG 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.


Wednesday Hill Session:

Many thanks to Fliss, who is supporting coaching these sessions since Richard stepped back. We also grateful for others who are completing their LiRF course to help out too. These sessions are covered over the next few months so please book on via RunTogether.

Thursday Interval Session:

This week on the grass, bring a headtorch!

This week’s session is: 

1min, 2min, 3min, 4min, 5min efforts with a 1min recovery between efforts (2mins after 5mins) @5k/10k pace.

 THEN… 5 X 1min efforts faster than 5k pace. POW!

Remember you ALWAYS have an option to drop down groups, and times on these, so don’t be shy.

Blaise Parkrun: Saturday 17th February

We are opening up the Clubhouse next Saturday during and after the parkrun. An opportunity for members to get together over coffee and biscuits after the run. I know that lots of you do parkrun with family or friends who are not club members. Everyone is welcome to join us so please come along.

We need a team of volunteers to open up, put the kettle on and tidy up afterwards. You can fit this in around your own parkrun, but if we have anyone who isn’t running and can stay at the Clubhouse. Please comment on the Facebook post if you can help this Saturday.

Member News

As we look back on our club’s history it’s good to also see we have a bright future, and the team behind the juniors keep turning out incredible athletes. Congratulations to Ellie Leather who just ran the 5th fastest ever British indoor mile at the BU invitational event in Boston USA. Insane running and a new PB of 4:25.23.

Important Update:

Info on National XC Parking for February 24th.


Diary Dates

Key; Red = key club team races, Green = club championship race 

Sunday 18th February Dursley Dozen Trail Race (Club Championship). https://tinyurl.com/2p8sn7eu
Saturday 24th February National Cross Country Championship, Weston Park.
Sunday 25th February 2024 Bath Two Tunnels Railway Race
Saturday 2nd March 5th Gwent League Pont-y-pŵl (Club Championship)
Sunday 3rd March Newport Half Marathon fullonsport
Saturday 16th March 2024 – Masters Open Cross Country Championships. Corwen, Wales. (Men/Women masters V35, V45, V55, V65 plus)
Saturday 26th March – Midland 12/6 stage road relays – Sutton Park (any questions please sepak to your Team manager)
Saturday 27th April Butcombe Trail Ultra Marathon 50 or 56 mile options
Saturday 25th May – Masters road relays – Leicester (team managers will complete entries) 

Editor this week:
Ben Wood