Weekly News- Sunday 27th March

Sunday 27th March

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editors Piece

In road cycling we very much celebrate the hill and mountain climbers, those cyclists that can defy gravity and power up steep mountain climbs. In fact race organisers plan stage races, like the Tour de France, to include mountain finishes as these stages can be the deciding factor in who will become the overall winner. 

Some of the classic mountain climbs easily exceed 2,000m such as Le Mont Ventoux, Le Col de Izoard and my favourite, Alpe d’Huez. If I rider can conquer such climbs they may even be awarded the King of the Mountains jersey, a red and white polka dot racing top.

I find it a little odd that as road runners we seek out the flattest tarmac possible for road races. Perhaps we should celebrate the ‘undulations’ in the road and encourage race organisers to throw in a few hills within the next half marathon or 10k. You might not achieve a PB but instead we could encourage race organisers to award a polka dot running vest to the fastest up the hill!

I was therefore quite pleased to see that Nick Dobson also shares my philosophy as this weekend he took part in the inaugural world’s steepest road race.  Congratulations to you Nick (or perhaps, to coin a cycling phrase I should say Chapeau!) for seeking out something a little different.

Thursday Club and Yate Track Intervals


Great Western Runners Towpath Series 2022

The GWR Towpath Series is back. This is a highly popular assortment of 10k events through the summer (with a 5k to finish off with!)

Race 1 takes place on Friday 20th May 7:30pm and incorporates the Mob Match where all the local clubs compete against each other. The more runners from the club that take part in this event, the better, as it gives us the best chance of winning. 

It is possible to enter individual races but there’s a deal for entering all 4 races at a cost of only £20, a bargain price of only £5 per event.



World’s Steepest Street Race

Yesterday evening Nick Dobson took part in an inaugural Aim High event, based in Harlech, Snowdonia. The gradient up Ffordd Pen Llech is a daunting 37.45% and the run continues to climb steeply for almost 2km. After all that pain the runner is then rewarded with long flowing descents with incredible views back down to Harlech castle and the finish line. 

Nick was 14th overall, with a chip time of 27:45 and 8th on the actually hill climb. As you can see from the Strava gradient profile it was brutal from the very start. Well done Nick.

Kingston Spring Race Day 8 Miler

Second claim members Jack and Emily Pitcher had plenty to celebrate today as they ran near Kingston upon Thames under blue sunny skies. Jack (who has recently recovered from a chest infection) took 3rd place in a time of 48:25 and Emily was 2nd lady in a time of 54:44.

Cardiff Half Marathon

Apparently the Cardiff Half is the second largest half marathon mass-participation event in the UK (the first being the Great North Run). But even with a field of over 20,000 runners it has been difficult to enter this year due to the two year hiatus and the carry over of deferred entrants who signed up before the outbreak of coronavirus. 

It is a flat, fast and iconic road race around the capital city of Cardiff so you can expect some fast finish times, as evidenced via today’s result sheet!

Ewan Paton finished in 1:22, a PB of over 1 minute with an impressive 9th place the pace high to come home in 1:15. Alex Hamblin was storming around the course too, with his second fastest half marathon ever. Alex crossed the finish line in 1:15.

Michael Algeo was 534th in 1:44, followed by Peter Norman 141st in 1:46 and Ka Run Lee in 412nd in a time of 1:53. Paul Gladding (who I’m sure raced last weekend in the Forest Of Dean Trail Half Marathon) was home in 444th in 3:21.

Weston Super Half

The Weston Super Half is a fast course using closed roads with the unique opportunity to finish a quarter of a mile out to sea on the famous Weston Grand Pier. 

The results page is a little frustrating as I’m unable to search by club name. Instead I’ve had to take a quick skim through Strava results and I was impressed to see a fast time by Jim Batty. Jim completed the course (according to Strava) in a time of 1:36 which works out at a pace of almost 4:30 per km! Well done Jim.

Gwent League Season Summary 21/22

This has to be one of the sunniest and driest underfoot Gwent League seasons in memory. So sorry to those who only ran the Blaise fixture! One of the keys to the Gwent League is having a depth in the team at all fixtures. We had a fabulous 56 ladies take part over the 5 fixtures. If you look through the results, there are not many clubs that fielded 8 teams. It is such a tremendous team effort. Always with such enthusiasm and team spirit. It is something special to be part of and feel proud about. Hopefully many of you have got to know each other better and made new friends and memories along the way. Thank-you all for travelling and taking the time out of your busy weekends to come and support the team. 

The results are detailed below. We were 3rd overall. Bristol & West took the title with Chepstow Harriers runners up. 

The B team was 3rd in the reserve division. Notably were our improvements in the C, D and E team final standings from 2020. 

The V35s couldn’t match their 2020 title but finished a solid 3rd behind Bristol and West, with Chepstow Harriers taking the V35 team title.

The V45s improved on their 6th place in 2020 to finish 4th. We needed the team we had out at Blaise at more fixtures. Alas, V45 seems a busy life stage! Bristol & West were 1st. 

Our V55s were leading going into the final fixture but with a few key people unable to run at Swansea we missed out by only 19 points to Taf Running & Orienteering Teams. Still finishing a fabulous 3rd, which was one up from 2020, with Les Croupiers Running Club in 2nd. 

A special mention to our V65s who individually were dominant in 1st, 2nd and 3rd (Shirley Hume, Marilyn Palmer and Eithne Noonan). The V65s once again took the V65 team title and the B team finished a fantastic 3rd thanks to some impressive running from Gill Anagnostakis in the earlier fixtures.

Well done to Emma Woodworth, Tamsin Chick, Jayne Pemble Shirley Hume, Eithne Noonan, Kay Ridgwell, Marilyn Palmer and Nicola Derrick who completed all 5 fixtures.

We had plenty of new people join us this season and some giving cross country a go for the first time. The improvements in people’s strength and performance is noticeable. There are too many individual accomplishments to talk through but it has been great looking though your results and hearing how you how found the different courses. 

I then got carried away looking at our senior ladies league history. Which over the last 20 years has been consistently excellent. Up there in the top 3 teams, except a blip in 2016. Can I retire now from the team managers role? 

I also think the club should feel very proud and give a big thanks to Neil Miller. Westbury Harriers has hosted a Gwent League fixture pretty much every year for the last 20 years and I am sure probably the 20 years before that, but I only have so much time to scroll through historic results! 2004/05 Neil obviously needed a rest. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes and on the day to organise a fixture, supported by a fabulous bunch of volunteers. Which this year were not rewarded with any sunshine but high winds and rain! 

Teams – 112 in total (all the teams that take part in order. The 3 divisions have all the A teams. All the B,C, D etc teams sit in the reserve division)

A team 4th overall, B team 15th, C team 27th, D team 42nd (1st D team), E team 66th, F team 81st, G team 99th, H team 111th


Division 1 – 3rd overall in division 1 (equalled 2020 position) 

Reserve Division – B team 3rd, C team 6th, D team 12th, E team 24th, F team 34th, G team 40th, H team 51st (52 teams in total). 

Age Group Teams

V35 – 3rd, (B team 13th, C team 22nd, D team 36th)

V45 – 4th (B team 10th, C team 17th, D team 27th)

V55 – 3rd (B team 9th, C team 18th)

V65 – 1st (B team 3rd)


V35 – 7th Tamsin Chick (taking out V45s and over)

V45 – 4th Emma Woodworth, 10th Jayne Pemble (taking out V55s and over)

V65 – 1st Shirley Hume, 2nd Marilyn Palmer, 3rd Eithne Noonan

Race report by Tamsin Elson Chick

Strava Segment of the Week

Well done to Sophie Voller on a 12k run near Portishead. Sophie claimed Strava segment, Nature path blaster in 1:21, taking 9th place overall.

Don’t forget if you wish to be mentioned in the Strava Segment of the Week section then join the Westbury Harriers club section of Strava.

Diary Dates

Sunday 3rd April at 6:45pm Annual General Meeting via Zoom

Saturday 9th April Family festival of running.  Active soul are holding at Pomphrey hill- It would be awesome to see some members of the club and their families at this event. https://wishy.org.uk/runforfun

Sunday 17th April The Hanham Horror, by Bitton Road Runners.

Saturday 23rd April Bristol Track Club 5k Odd Down Cycle Circuit, Bath

Sunday 24th April Frenchay 10k. This race starts and finishes on the UWE Glenside Campus (Top left photo), Blackberry Hill, Fishponds, Bristol

The course is scenic and undulating and comprises of a circuit of the grounds followed by the exit onto Blackberry Hill. http://frenchay10k.co.uk/index.htm

Saturday 7th May. Provisional date for Annual Awards Night. Venue TBC

Friday 20th May Race 1 Towpath Series (including Mob Match)

Monday 30th May Hogweed Trot 10k 19:00 Yate. https://tinyurl.com/yckkn3wu

Monday 6th June The Westbury Harriers Blaise Blazer multi-terrain race.

Saturday and Sunday 11 and 12 June. Cheddar Challenge by Relish Running

Friday 17th June Race 2 Towpath Series

Sunday 26th June. Lacock Road Races, Half and 10k by Relish Running.

Saturday 2nd July Cotswold Way relay. 10 stage trail relay event.

Thursday 7th July Tintern Trot, 10k trail run along the Wye Valley. Group discount if we have more than 10 interested.

Friday 22nd July Race 3 Towpath Series

Saturday 30th July Magor 10K, fast, flat and furious.

Friday 19th August Race 4 (5K) Towpath Series

Saturday 17th September Relish Running Cheddar Gorge Downhill 10K. https://tinyurl.com/2p9yrsvk

Saturday 24th September, Uphill to Wells Relay. An off-road relay race starting at Uphill beach and finishing at Wells Cathedral. The route is 90% off-road and follows the West Mendip Way along footpaths and bridleways. The race is a ‘hand-over’ relay, run without marshals, water stations or other assistance. Teams are responsible for their own safety and for researching the route although their progress will be monitored at check-points at the end of every leg. https://www.uphilltowells.com/default.aspx

Sunday 25th September Great Bristol Run 10k and Half. https://www.greatrun.org/events/great-bristol-run/

Sunday 25th September Forest of Dean Autumn Half Marathon. https://www.rotary-rfod.org.uk/events.php

Sunday 16th October Bath Half Marathon, POSTPONED!

Editor this Week

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