Weekly News Sunday 30th October

Sunday 30th October

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editors Piece

Many people have asked me what makes a great Westbury runner?  Does it take an intensive training regime, a special diet and plenty of sleep? Or do you need to be born that way with the genetic and biologically physiology, very much the classic Nature v Nurture debate?

Well, I can now answer that difficult question with photographic evidence. Exceptionally gifted Westbury club runners emerge, fully formed and ready to run from a giant egg!

Thursday Intervals 

We’ll be on the road this Thursday so road shoes and bright clothing will be required. What we do and where we do it will be dependent on the number of booked runners. Details will be added to facebook nearer the time.

Volunteers Needed for Blaise XC

We are still quite short for volunteers around the course for the Blaise Gwent League Event on Saturday 12th November. We particularly need more senior men / people who may not be running to help marshal when the Senior Ladies are running their race. 

If you (or a friend, neighbour, family member) are able to support, please let Alastair know using the form on the webpage below: https://westburyharriers.co.uk/gwent-league-volunteering/

Club Championship Events for 2023

Judy is pleased to announce the final three races in the Club Championship year.  They are:

  • Riverbank Rollick: 15 January 2023
  • Gwent League Fixture (Pontypool?): 11 or 12 February 2023
  • Severn Bridge Twilight 5: 31 March 2023

Lots of points are still up for grabs so put these dates in your diary.

British Master Cross Country Relays 

Well done to the ladies V65 team who won silver at the Masters Cross country championships in Long Eaton yesterday. Fortunately the rain stopped for the race and the course wasn’t too muddy. Great running by all. 

  • Helen Kershaw 16.50
  • Eithne Noonan 17.26
  • Gill Anagnostakis 18.13
Beachy Head Trail Marathon, Saturday 22nd October. Race report by Ken Lovell

Almost perfect weather for a marathon.  Beachy Head trail marathon to be precise.  It has been running for the same length of time as London and there, the similarities end. 

London has about 400 ft of elevation, I believe, Beachy has around 4,000 ft.  There’s lots of kudos and razzmatazz around London, in contrast Beachy is very low key – with very high hills!

Neither Ann Lovell, or myself have ever run London, and have no intention of doing so – each to their own I guess.  In contrast, Ann and myself have run Beachy 9 times between us – 5 times for me, and 4 times for Ann. 

It’s a tough course that starts about 75 metres from the bottom of a hill. A big hill!  A long hill, that goes on forever!  Over the course of 26 miles, you pass through small villages, woods, over chalk downs, and lots of up and downs. Through gates, over stiles, and over 300 steps to ascend.  But there are some lovely views of the coast, that we drop down to before climbing back up again, too many times.  At the end of the 26 miles of energy sapping ascents, and knee destroying descents, its a downhill finish to the bottom of the same hill that we struggled up some hours earlier, being careful to avoid the steps at the bottom, and then a sprint (!) to the finish line. 

This year I was very pleased to finish 1st in my age category, whilst Ann finished 7th in her age category, despite neither of us ’feeling it’ on the day.  Sometimes dogged determination, or stubbornness is what helps you through.

Move up Monday – 7th November

Some of you may be thinking about attempting a run with a quicker group on a Monday. This can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you haven’t run with that group before.

Whilst anyone can give it a try whenever suits them, Move up Monday is a more formal opportunity to give it a go. Leaders will be aware that they might have people moving up and will plan routes accordingly, you might have a few giving it a try at the same time.

Northern Ireland International Cross Country, Belfast October 2022, by Mike Mewse

Well done to Seamus Robinson for a superb win in this prestigious race, held at the Billy Neill Country Park, east of Belfast.

Seamus (17) has established himself as an international with Ireland, making multiple journeys to pursue his cross country career. He was once again in top form, taking the title in the Under 18 event on a hilly course in a time of 16.45 ahead of Kyle Thompson (17.11) and Finn Diver (17.37). Seamus has already made his Senior Men’s debut for Westbury ( see photos ) – when he ran our fastest leg of the English Road Race finals – and is set for a great season. We, as a club, have been pleased to support Seamus with a small travel bursary which Neil Miller, who has coached Seamus for many years, was happy to present.

Lost Blue Jacket?

Someone left a blue jacket behind after last Thursday’s Intervals, let me know if it is yours or if you know who it might belong to!

Nightingale Nightmare

Good luck to all those the club taking part in the Nightingale Nightmare today, organised by Southville Running Club. Pictured below some of the club get in some early practice with a midweek run.

Blaise Gwent and Tri Counties XC Championships

Our next big cross-country event is the Gwent Cross Country League at our home venue of Blaise Castle on Saturday 12th November.

As we are hosting this Gwent League event it’s bound to be a busy day.  Please join us to race and, if possible, help out with all the jobs involved in hosting the event.  All abilities are welcome so please come and enjoy the whole atmosphere.

It’s just £4.25 for the race and there’s FREE BEER  (we’ll be having a free beer draw!).

You will need a Westbury vest and (ideally) xc spikes or trail shoes (note – parts of the course are a bit rocky). The course is about 8.5K and 6K for women.  Masters Men Over 65 can opt for either race.



Coming Up as well  – The Tri Counties XC Championships (the combined county championships for Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire) which will be held on Sunday 27th November at Bath University.   Unfortunately the event has been brought forward which means it clashes with other events and we will also lose some of our student runners, so even more important to get a good team out.

More info to come but please prepare now for the Blaise XC – get those spikes and trail shoes in action and get in some hill training in the rain !

Weston Prom Announcement, by Weston AC

Following yesterday’s decision to extend the opening of the See Monster until the 20th November, and given the congestion between the Tropicana and the Pier that we have experienced over the past few weeks, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel both of the planned November Prom runs. 

As a team, we are extremely saddened to have had to take this decision and we are now looking at what we can do to try and accommodate all 9 races of the series, possibly in the New Year. As we currently don’t know if the See Monster is likely to be extended again, we cannot confirm any new dates just yet.

We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience caused and we hope that you understand that we must consider the safety of our runners, and the general public, when making these decisions.

Club Christmas Meal and Weston Prom – Thursday 15th December

Sandra Bailey-Gard is kindly organising the Christmas meal after the Weston Prom 5 mile race on Thursday 15th Dec. The Weston prom is suitable for all abilities. A fun and relaxed event. A great way to finish for the Christmas break and put that training to use, with a reward at the end! 

Please get money and menu choices to Sandra (or Jullian, who can be found training most Monday’s and Thursday’s) by 24th Nov. All welcome. 

Strava Segment of the Week

Well done to Gary Dickens on a morning loop around Magor. Gary achieved a 3rd fastest time on Strava segment Final Push in a time of 4:04

Diary Dates

Sunday 30th October Nightingale Nightmare by Southville Running Club

Saturday 5th November Battle at Blaise an obstacle race at Blaise estate.

Sunday 27th November Chepstow Racecourse Half Marathon (Club Championship) 

Saturday 12th November Gwent League Cross Country Blaise Castle

Sunday 13th November Sodbury Slog (10 miler trail event)

Thursday 17th November Weston Prom Race 3 by Weston AC

Saturday 26th November Run Fest at Ashton Court

Sunday 27th November Tri Counties Cross Country Bath University.

Sunday 27 November AVR Wiltshire Half Marathon (10 year Anniversary Special!) BA13 4NT. http://www.avrwiltshirehalfmarathon.org

Saturday 3rd December Gwent League Pembrey

Sunday 4th December Weston Christmas Cracker (and Club Championship event)

Monday 12th December Brailsford Christmas Lights Run

Thursday 15th December Weston Prom Race 4 by Weston AC

Friday 16th December Night Race 1, Beechenhurst Lodge, by Rogue Runs

Thursday 12th January Night Race 2 Wye Valley and Piercefield Park

Sunday 15th January  Riverbank Rollick (Club Championship event)

Sunday 5th February Doynton Hard Half, a horrible cross country hosted by Emersons Green Running Club

Saturday 11th or Sunday 12th February Gwent League TBD (and Club Championship event)

Saturday 4th or Sunday 4th March Gwent League TBD

Sunday 12th March Lisbon Half Marathon, part of the Super Half Series

Friday 31st March Severn Bridge Twilight 5 (and Club Championship event)

Editor this Week

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