Weekly News – Sunday 24th January

Sunday 24th January

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editor’s Piece

I’ve just woken up to snow this morning! It’s already starting to melt so I better get my running shoes on quick and get out there. I’ll also log my 30 minute EA30 Weekly challenge at the same time.

We have a very interesting contribution from Mike Mewse this week,  it’s about Mike and the club house refurbishment.

Mike Mewse Profile and the Blaise Castle pavilion project.

Mike was recently awarded the Richard Bloss Club Personality Award for his services to the club in 2020. He, and his fellow Pavilion Committee members, successfully completed a full refurbishment of the club’s pavilion/ clubhouse last summer. The pavilion is set within the beautiful Blaise parkland and is held on a lease from Bristol City Council.

Ian – Congratulations Mike on your Richard Bloss Award. How do you feel about that ?
Mike – Well, it was a surprise. Richard was a real personality and a very good clubman. Previous participants have been long established club people so, as a relative newcomer to the club, I feel very honoured.

Ian – You’ve certainly been very visible in the club through your work with the pavilion, as Vet Men’s Team Manager and coaching.
Mike – I guess that’s true but the pavilion project was very much a group effort – so I’d like to think the award reflects the work of everyone on the pavilion committee.

Ian – Great that such a lot of work has been done and the club now has such a good facility. Many of us don’t know the background so how did it all come about – how was it financed and did you have any problems with the work ?
Mike – Well, work started in the first week of lockdown … ! So, inevitably, it took a lot longer than planned. The cost was just over £29,000. The costs were met from club funds including, I understand, money that had been set aside over many years (by Westbury Harriers and United Banks Cricket Club) as a demolition fund ! The building had been due to be demolished and the area reinstated. Luckily, with a change to the lease, the building did not need to be demolished so the money was available to the club.

The proposed refurbishment project had stalled for a few years and been discussed in many committee meetings. In a moment of madness (and wishing to avoid more committee discussion) I volunteered to complete the plans, contract a builder and manage the work. My offer was readily accepted !

Ian – How did the work go ?
Mike – Luckily we had a father and son team doing most of the work so we could go ahead within Covid guidelines. Things went well to start with but then was held up due to material shortages caused by the pandemic. We also, unexpectedly, had to dig out new drains.

I had to project-manage remotely by WhatsApp video for the first two weeks before I could go on site. It took over four months instead of four weeks but we were able to extend the work to include new changing rooms, a new kitchen, new storage areas, extra toilet / shower facilities, plus extra work to the ceilings and attic. We, the pavilion committee members (and conscripted family members !) worked voluntarily (within Covid guidelines) to do the finishing jobs – clearing, cleaning, painting etc. – saving the club over £10,000. We now have a facility that the members can use for the next twenty years or more. So, as a member of the club you get to “part-own” a nice bit of real estate in a lovely part of Bristol !

Ian – What were the hardest jobs ?
Mike – Undoubtedly clearing the attic area (on a very hot day) of two lorry loads of rubbish including cricket bags, broken glass, broken tables and chairs, lost property clothing (… even two pairs of underpants!) in masks and protective clothing !

Ian – How will things work under Covid guidelines.
Mike – We plan to recruit more key holders / group leaders who can access the facilities as a base for smaller groups. Up until the current lockdown those arrangements were working safely and smoothly.

Ian – Are there any further plans ?
Mike – Nice question Ian … maybe a small swimming pool and a disco room ! But we may need to wait for that ! It will just be nice to just get back to using it as a running base.

Running at Blaise Castle was one of my reasons for joining the club so I hope the new facilities will help to provide years of running pleasure for lots more people.

Guest Speaker – Mark Vile

You are invited to a Zoom meeting with Mark Vile on Friday 29th January at 7pm. The theme of the presentation will be smarter training, what we do and why.

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.

England Athletics Weekly30 Run Challenge

We’re doing really well in the EA Weekly30 Run Challenge. Admittedly it was a slow start with only Valerie Hughes representing the club in the first week. Now, with so many runners from the club involved we’ve worked our way up to 8th place. I think we may have progressed even further this week, and I’n sure Valerie will gives an update later.

We even had a winner in last weeks challenge! Well done to Vicky Tester who was the women’s winner, she even had a special mention in this week’s EA newsletter.

To take part is very simple, just run for 30 minutes at any pace and record the distance. Even living overseas shouldn’t prevent you from entering.

Mark did his at speed around Aztec West (see below) but any run counts, on or off road, quick or easy.


Westbury Harriers Facebook Group 5km Relay

If you’re a member of the club then it’s worth joining the Westbury Harriers Members Chat group on Facebook. Not only will you be able to see lots of information relating to the club but also the 5km Facebook Relay! 

I’m amazed that we’re already up to leg 13 of the relay. That was completed by Alex Hamblin in an exceeding quick time of 17:34. The baton has now been handed over to Ben Rawlins for leg 13, and expect a similarly quick time!

Editors update: We are now up to leg 13. Well done to Ben Rawlins who was flying on his 5km leg, completing it in a time of 16:48. The baton has now been passed to Mike Mewse, although Mike may need more than a prevailing tailwind to beat Ben’s time!

Club Intervals- Just a little bit longer

So we’ve done some hills and short efforts so Vicky is giving us something a little bit longer for this week.  6 x 3mins with 1min recovery.  Warm up, warm down and stretch afterwards.

The Journey of the Ring

Tim Synge has throughly enjoyed running a number of different virtual challenges over lockdown. These include the Great Virtual Run Across Tenessee and a virtual South West Coast Path.

He’s now just signed up for his next challenge. The Journey of the Ring.  This is a 650-mile virtual challenge on New Zealand’s North Island, starting in Hobbiton and ending on Mount Doom, with various other film locations being visited en route. It starts on 1 Feb and you can log running or walking or both.  Lots of streetview coverage to bring it to life. There is a time allowanced of 12 months.  Full details at below if anyone is interested! https://www.windingpaths.uk/ring/?fbclid=IwAR3LMMNXgOqlax_fh1fNVumoORxW-fS-bdWMKltCnfWQSM5E642hVh31pkY

Strava Results of the Week

Cups and crowns galore for Tom Peaston for a short run on a Friday afternoon, just over 6km but it’s quality, not quantity when it comes to Strava segments! Tom achieved 3rd overall on Strava segment Rodford Way West (4:13) and 8th on We’re on a road to nowwhere (2:08). The kudos has to go for the crown on Sub-way of horrors (which sounds delightful) in a winning time of 4:17. Well done Tom.

Diary Dates

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

1st Feb onwards Virtual Challenge: The Journey of the Ring.

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 communication@westburyharriers.co.uk