Weekly News – Sunday 25th February 2024

As I write this newsletter, I look out of the window and sigh, yep it’s still raining. I dream of warmer, sunny days….sigh. The last couple of weeks have been miserable and our trainers have barely had a chance to dry off. I’ve certainly found myself dressed in head to toe in waterproof gear like I’m about to go on a long hiking adventure. It’s been so wet, that even the National Cross Country Championship couldn’t go ahead yesterday and was postponed. But enough about the weather, as that always seems to be the topic of conversation. It fails to dampen our spirits however and the training must continue, skin is waterproof after all. Some of you have been putting in the longer miles with Marathons/Halfs coming up and have met up to train together. Stronger in numbers, and the hard work will certainly pay off. Race season is kicking off again, and I look forward to seeing what everyone gets up to this year!


We have a few announcements to mention:


Heather Griffins celebrated her 500th Parkrun milestone at Eastville yesterday! Incredible achievement, apparently that’s almost 10 years of Park Runs every weekend. Eithne wrote, “Great turn out of fans from Westbury Harriers and the wider parkrun community to help her celebrate. The cakes were delicious!” Heather said,
“It’s been great fun working towards this goal over the past 12 and a half years. A week off next week for the Greenman, then back to Park Run to chase a few WH’s with a better P index. Thank you to those that came along, it was a lovely morning, I felt very blessed”.

Also, we need to give a shout out to Kate Hoffen who achieved her 100th Park Run, kudos to you!


Race Report: Dartmoor Winter Traverse 50km

George Griffiths had boggy time at the Dartmoor Winter Traverse 50km, congrats on your first ultra marathon.

“Yesterday (Sat 24th Feb) I completed my first Ultra Marathon The Dartmoor Winter Traverse 50k by Climb South West.

Running an Ultra has been my main goal since starting running towards the end of 2022 and joining this amazing club has really helped me to get there so thank you. I had ran a few trail halfs and a marathon before but wanted to get some track sessions which is why I originally joined up, this has led to getting some brilliant experience in training speed/interval work, the Gwent league XC and just generally being part of the club and being inspired.

So the Ultra…imagine what Margam park was like the other week but wetter, colder, more mud, more hills, some snow and about 6 hours longer (living the dream).

The first 10 miles was a case of running and jumping to avoid the risk of sinking deep into a bog up to your knee or risking injury. I decided to keep pace with a woman who got too fast for me after about 10k (and went on to place 4th overall and 2nd Female). After the first check point about 12 miles in, my body was feeling alot more tired than I had hoped it would by that point. I decided to tag along with 3 guys who just wouldnt stop running! The whole walk and take your time thing went out the window and apart from some power hiking climbs I stayed running with these guys somehow. I decided I am here to try and run this thing and am going to give it everything I have. Apart from a couple gravel paths the majority of this was bogs so walking was hard let alone running. The only other checkpoint about 40k in was short lived, grabbed a quick coffee and flapjack and just carried on. The final climb and 10k was a struggle and I couldnt keep up with the 3 animals anymore. Sleety snow came in sideways and even walking seemed hard as the ground and my legs were as destroyed as eachother. One of the support crew joined me and another runner for the last 5k gradual descent to the finish line.

The toughest challenge I have ever completed and I am over the moon to have come 12th Place out of 76 people where I think around 30-40 were running and the remainder hiking. I am now looking forward to getting back to club sessions and some shorter faster races!”


Race Report: The Dursley Dozen

The Dursley Dozen took place on Sunday 18th February, one of the Club Championship events and always sells out fast. I still haven’t had the chance to take part, but looks like a fun, muddy route. “A challenging course as a good turn out of Westbury Harriers made their way through the mud and hills with over 2000 ft of climb. Well done to Hannah Large (2nd Lady) and Maggie Salter (1st VF60) and to Hannah, Olivia Zeltner & Kate Hoffen for the first women’s team home”, words by Richard Hughes.


Race Report: Seville Marathon

Jonathan Riley – Race review Seville Marathon 18 February

Seville was a lovely city for a few days of winter sun with a marathon at the end to look forward to. The weather in Seville is warm already in February, the tapas restaurants are good value, the city centre buildings are beautiful, and there are interesting things to see within walking distance (although we probably did a bit too much – 30,000 steps counted in one day!). We had great weather on race day: it was 9C at 8:30 when we started and increased to 15C during the race, then it was 20C all afternoon.

The organisers provide a pasta party at the race expo centre, where everyone has to collect their race numbers. It was fun, but don’t go at 12:30 😉 They feed 2,000 runners, but we were there when it opened, and there was nobody there, not much atmosphere! Some of the course is on the outskirts of the city, but I didn’t mind. It was lovely to be running in warm sunshine in Spain after training all winter in UK. For the first 25km I was mainly trying to avoid being knocked over by the big group running with the pacers, and for the last 10km I was just concentrating on holding my pace. I remember that it does go around the impressive Plaza de Espagna which is fun, and the last bit goes through narrower shopping streets and down past the cathedral.

It was a bit “jostly” because I chose to run in a group with a pacer. There are 12,000 runners, and there were four pacers doing my target time, but three of the four pacers’ balloons were either burst or released within a few km, so there were about 150 runners all grouped behind one pacer, who’s balloon also failed to survive an impact with the half-way inflatable. I left them at 25km and it was suddenly much easier to run, especially at water stations when people were darting left and right, you had to concentrate. I would definitely recommend it as a winter marathon: it’s fast, and you can have a fun holiday. Just keep away from the people running behind the blue balloons!

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. 




MCAA Road Relay Championships – Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield (B73 6BU) – Saturday 23rd March 2024

Westbury Harriers will be entering teams for the Midland Road Relays. The men’s race is a 12 stage relay (8 x 3.16 miles and 4 x 5.38 miles. Long legs 1-4) and the ladies’ is a 6 stage relay (2 x 5.38 miles and 4 x 3.165 miles Long Legs one & three. Short legs two, four, five & six). We are looking to get out a competitive A team and an ‘anyone who would like to give it a go’ B team. We can also enter a C team if we have enough interest. As a guide this event is more suitable for those runners who train in groups 1-4, but anyone is welcome to take part. Relays are great fun, Sutton Park is great course and venue.

Please sign up on RunTogether

Tamsin is coordinating the ladies team and Chris Palmer the men’s team. Entries close on 10th March so we need to know by 8th March (latest) if you can run. With this event you can enter 3 times the number of names per team with 12/6 to run, but there are no amendments nearer the time. So anyone who can be a reserve is most welcome. Please let Chris or Tamsin know if you are regular racer and are not available so we don’t chase you. Equally, contact Tamsin and Chris if you have any questions.

Organising relay teams is not easy, so please help Tamsin and Chris by signing up promptly. It is always a good day out and it’s great to support your team mates. Lift shares will be available. The club pays the entry fees and supports towards petrol costs as this is a regional championship event.



The 5th and final Gwent League fixture of the 2023/2024 season is on Saturday 2nd March at Pontypool (its only 45 minutes from Bristol).

We really do need everyone that can make it there. Please come and support Westbury and let’s give it one last push. It could make a huge difference on the team standings and everyone scores, you might be the vital last scorer for that age group team. Emails have been sent and you can sign up on the links below in the dates section.

Please see fixture information for course map, timetable and parking information





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:

More distance at 5k pace/quicker and shorter intervals

600M @ 5k pace with 100M jog recovery – 5 sets

300M @ faster than 5k pace with 200M jog recovery – 5 sets

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 so please book on via RunTogether HERE.

Meet every Wednesday at 12pm at the traffic lights by Saville Road on the Downs. This week’s hill efforts will be on Stoke Park Road led by Tamsin.



This week on the grass (cross fingers it will remain dry), bring a headtorch!

Session: 10 x 2 mins (1 min recovery) @ 10K effort

Aim to increase effort as session progresses, finishing off at slightly harder than 5K effort.

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




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

Key – Red = Key club team races, Green = Club Championship race, Blue = Club Centenary/Other events


Saturday 2nd March: 5th Gwent League Pont-y-Pŵl (Club Championship)
Sign up – Women’s XC: https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/WestburyHarriersRunningClub/Runs/Summary/fb5a93fa-2127-4a5c-a44f-f0c0c2af5fd4
Sign up – Men’s XC: https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/WestburyHarriersRunningClub/Runs/Summary/3566033e-af3d-4834-a00b-5a305792e1c2
Sunday 3rd March: Newport Half Marathon – Link: https://cityofnewporthalfmarathon.com/
Saturday 16th March 2024: Masters Open Cross Country Championships, Corwen, 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-81b2-72f734750116
Sign 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)
Saturday 25th May: Masters Road Relays, Leicester (Team managers will complete entries)
Sunday 23rd June: All Club Event, with activities for juniors and seniors followed by food at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex

Editor this week – Yvette Casallas