Weekly News Sunday 1st August

Sunday 1st August

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editor’s Piece

Don’t forget contributions are always welcome and I will always make space in the Weekly News for an interesting article, race report or result. Just e-mail me the details and you can be sure they will be included in the next newsletter. 

Today is the Family Picnic!

The weather forecast for this afternoon is improving and so the family picnic is on! Meet up at Blaise from 12:00 onwards TODAY towards the end of the car park, to the right of the club house. Bring something waterproof to sit on along with food and games. Family, friends, pets, all are invited. 

Club Intervals- Walk (or Run) Like an Egyptian  

I don’t think we’ve done a pyramid session for a while so it will be a refreshing change for a session of the following, 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minutes with a 4 minute effort to finish. 1 minute recovery throughout, but 2 minutes after the 4 minute (and an option to reduce 4 mins to 3).

Facebook 5km Relay

Next up we have Alison Rogers and her 5k to look forward to. Good luck with your leg Alison.

Quick recap below of the runners so far including, Tamsin, Hannah McAlpine, Anne Lovell, Mark Andrews, Kate Wills, Jenny Godden, Ewan Cameron, Clair Cusack, Linda Phillips, Marilyn Palmer, Jane Derham, Alex Hamblin, Ben Rawlins, Mike Mewse, Anthony Glover, Dan Summers, Scott Campbell, Chris Palmer, Vicky Tester, Rhi Paton, Robyn Ellis, Dara Goodluck, Jayne Pemble, Kate Howard, Rosie Hamilton-James, Emily Whitaker, Ewan Paton, Richard Hughes, Sandra Sforza, Ken Lovell, Anneke Bull, Colin Johnson, Chris Beck, Trish Robson, Izzy Povey, Robin Phillips, Carol Fee , Eithne Noonan , Kay Ridgwell, Tim Carr, Paul Gladding, Fiona Leahy Lithander, Carolyn Dent ,Sarah Andrews, Elaine Barley, Liz Lovelock, Steve Emery , Alistair Blackwood, Gary Dickens, Svetlana Jones, Abi Hall and Dawni Stygall, Emma Rossiter, Rhona Beynon, Caroline Bull, Mike Hurst, Laura Pankhurst, Louise Pretty, Geraint Torrington, James Bardwell, Rosalind White and Carrie Jones.

Black Swan Pub Night

Another evening at the Black Swan is planned for Thursday 19th August, just after intervals with 3 outside tables booked. It’s a chance to chat to those you might not normally run with, share stories, achievements, woes and any other topics.  The pub are working on a more extensive menu and it would help if we could preorder, details of how we organise this as a club will be published nearer the time. In the meantime if interested in coming for food, or perhaps just drinks,  then please respond to Lou’s facebook posting dated 28th July.

South West Coast to Coast 100K Challenge

Many thanks to a long-standing club member Tim Synge, who has provided the article below as he tells us how he final cracked the impressive 100k barrier. 

I have been wearing a big smile on my face all week. I have, at the third attempt, completed the elusive distance of 100k, a challenge I’ve been looking to complete over the last few years. I first tried in the Cotswolds in 2019 and pulled out at around 80k as it dawned on me that I was not going to finish until about 3-o’clock in the morning.  I made another attempt in June this year, also in the Cotswolds, convinced that I would complete it, but seemed to run out of steam at around 80k again. I was really disappointed and vowed to have one more go.  There was an event coming up which involved running from Minehead to Dawlish, right across the South West peninsula, and this looked like the ideal opportunity to try again while I still had the benefit of all my 2021 training.

So, last Saturday, my wife drove me up to Minehead from our home near Teignmouth (only about five miles from the finish) and I arrived in time to set off with the 7:00am start wave.  The route was divided into eight stages with a checkpoint (offering food, drink, rest and medical support). The first stage was one of the toughest, with a climb of over 1,700 feet from sea level to the top of Dunkery Beacon, a prominent summit on Exmoor and the highest point in Somerset.  The high moor was shrouded in cloud, but the route was well marked throughout.  I reached the top and, shortly after that, the first checkpoint just before the rain started. I thought of the participants who were starting in later waves and who would find the conditions rather unfriendly as they climbed onto the moor.  

The next few stages took us through pretty Exmoor villages including Dulverton and Bampton as we made our way on towards the halfway point in the town of Tiverton.  This road sign really served to put the whole undertaking into some sort of perspective.

As the morning turned into afternoon, I heard a niggling little inner voice advising me that I was daft to think I could do this; after all, I had not completed the distance on my two previous attempts.  It would be dark by the time I left Exeter and I had no experience of continuing beyond 80 kilometres.  I countered this by thinking of all the sponsors who had made donations to my chosen charity and all the support I had received beforehand.  And my wife seemed to be popping up at all of the checkpoints too and so I couldn’t let her down.  (Her car now looks a bit like a rally car as a result of driving along all those minor country roads, with mud spattered up both sides!).

At Tiverton, I enjoyed a plate of spaghetti bolognese for lunch (at around 4:00pm!) and set off to complete stages 5 and 6.  These largely followed the Exe Valley towards Exeter.  Some sections were overgrown with head-high bracken and sometimes the route opened out with views of the river. 

I passed through Thorverton and checkpoint 5.  I knew that checkpoint 5 was where I had failed to take on any nutrition last time round and so I tucked into a delicious combination of chocolate biscuit and salted peanuts, washed down with sweet tea.  I also took a bag of salt and vinegar chipsticks to open in a mile or two.  Such is the fuel of the long-distance runner!

The weather had improved and the sun had come out. Soon, I reached the edge of Exeter and I knew that I would be on familiar territory from here on.  I think this was a great help.  I could picture each stretch of running and knew where the landmarks would be: each bridge, pub, settlement and road crossing would be a welcome sight on the rest of the journey.  I think it was around here that I knew I was going to finish.  I had been averaging just over four miles per hour, running where I could and walking on the hills and the upward inclines.  Once I was out of Exeter, incredibly, my pace picked up. The sense that I was going to finish, possibly even before midnight, combined with the flat ground, pushed me on and, where I had expected that I would be reduced to walking, my legs seemed to keep on turning! I think the knowledge that I had successfully passed checkpoint 6, my former nemesis, was also a great help. The rain had started again by this stage, but there was a lovely sunset behind me. 

I ran on along the side of the Exe Estuary. The penultimate checkpoint was in the grounds of Powderham Castle and it was just getting dark as I reached it.  I changed my top, downed a couple more cups of sweet tea, and put on my headtorch. Only 6k to go! About 2k from the finish, my left knee started to complain.  I slowed to a walk and another runner came up behind me. She seemed happy to walk for a bit too and we chatted about our experience so far.  After a bit, we saw lights ahead.  It looked as if there was around 400 metres to go to the entrance to the field where the finish line was situated.  We couldn’t possibly walk this, so I persuaded my knee that a little more running was required and we set off again.  And a couple of minutes later we were over the line.

At this stage, I should have been feeling elated, but I felt so tired that I had to go and sit down.  Someone passed me a placard and so at least there is a pictorial record of the moment. But no-one told me to turn my headtorch off and I was in no state to think of that myself.  But I had reached the finish line!

I did it!  In a time of 15h 44m 38s.  Over the moon, as they say!

By Tim Synge


Well done to Alex Hamblin and his impressive result in the London Asics 10k. Alex tells us he throughly enjoyed his trip to the Big Smoke and the opportunity to run in a big, well organised event with plenty of support around the course. Alex clocked a finish time of 35:29, coming 17th in his category.

Ian Gawinowski also had a good run, placed 9th in the long half, one of just a number of different races were organised by Relish Running at the Bath Running Festival last weekend. The next event is the Two Tunnels being held on 15th August with events from a 5k up a full marathon.

Strava Segment of the Week

Nick Dobson was up nice and early getting in a long run, in fact his longest run for a while.  A lot of PR’s achieved over his 25k route including Strava segment ‘Filton Fartleck’ in 2:25

Diary Dates

Wednesday 4th August 19:30: Bitton Road Runners 5k Series. We are pleased to announce that the 5K series will return this year. All races start at 19:30 from Bitton Railway Station. Other dates include 1st Sept. All dates subject to confirmation

Thursday 19th August Black Swan Pub Night, after intervals.

Sunday 15th August Bath Two Tunnels by Relish Running. https://www.relishrunningraces.com/bath-running-festival.php

Monday 23rd August. Mary’s Memorial Run for St Peter’s Hospice

Sunday 29th August Severn Bridge 10k and Half. https://sites.google.com/site/severnbridgehalfmarathon/home

Sunday 12th September Wye Valley Tunnel Run 5 and 10km. https://www.relishrunningraces.com/wye-valley-tunnel-run.php?fbclid=IwAR15xzqxYHOXIhLR98_6yBofM2zYcRIr2BUdCdfoFQRYuw6qIFqvSD74mq0

Wednesday 29th September. Race 4 of the Bristol and West PB 5k series. https://data.opentrack.run/en-gb/x/2021/GBR/sep-road-southwest-5km/?fbclid=IwAR1OkJdKC_1KD2hFfQi1bzoSf2Fyg-iykaSH1fQYXEUajT6cF1S0O4ec0qA

Sunday 3rd October Berkeley 10k. A fast, local 10k, almost guaranteed for a PB!

Sunday 17th October Keynsham Dandy. Autumn sees the return of the TACH well-loved 12.5 miles run through some wonderful countryside.  https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?elid=Y&event_id=8565&fbclid=IwAR2BHr5pFEXeIWccZd5vaDnkv7bgCGEt0qW0-eSSE2Z-6wzJnFNNrWgomF8

Editor this Week

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