Weekly News Sunday 7th November

Sunday 7th November

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editors Piece

It’s a busy week for this edition of the newsletter as there’s just so much going on! From X-country, to fell races and even an aquathlon!

Now that we’ve had Halloween and firework festivals we can start to think about Christmas. Worth checking my diary section as we have quite a few festive events taking place. That includes a few races in which runners are activity encouraged to wear fancy dress, such as the Weston Christmas Cracker and the Clevedon Boxing Day Run. If you fancy taking part I suggest you book soonish, they fill up fast.

Gwent XC Fixture, Brecon Sunday 14th November

Scott’s back after missing the first fixture in Cardiff so will be doing the entries after Mike kindly stepped in last time. It may not be quite so dry and warm so please do come prepared with dry/warm things for afterwards, such as a club hoodie!

The Senior men’s race starts at 14.15 and is 9.75km and is at Parc de Pugh, Brecon LD3 7HH.

All the details of the fixture can be found here https://www.gwent-league.org.uk/fixtures.html

Please do read the parking information carefully and please aim to get there at least 1 hour before the start to give me time to sort out the entries.

We are experimenting with some different ways of signing up for the Gwent League. This time we have put it on RunTogether and you can sign up using the link below. Please try and do this so that Scott knows who to expect and speed things up on the day. At this stage you will still need to pay £4 on the day to him (we are looking into different ways of doing this but it’s old school pay in cash at the moment). If you are not yet on RunTogether (a good opportunity to get signed up and see our sessions).


Could you please let Scott know if you need a lift, can drive and offer space to others or are making your own way.  I can be contacted on text/whatsapp 07752 190671, FB messenger or email.

We had a great turnout last time and need to replicate this at every fixture. Please remember the Gwent League is for abilities and ages. We do well by turning out in Westbury force. It is a team as well as an individual event, so every place counts for points.

You need to wear your Westbury vest and I would advise spikes or trail shoes.

Any questions do get in touch.

Kind Regards, Scott

Club Intervals and Yate Track Sessions

Vicky will have us all prepared for the next Gwent league with a special cross country focussed interval session. On Thursday we will be back on the field at Coombe Dingle with 10 x 2 minute intervals, with 1 minute recovery.  I suggest wearing trail shoes if you have them as it’s getting a little soggy on the turns. 

This weeks suggested Yate track session is 7 x 300m with a 100m jog recovery, then 4 x 600m with a 200m jog recovery.  If you’ve not tried a track training session it’s well worth doing, there’s no pressure and you can do as little or as much as you like. Even finish up a little early and enjoy a drink in the bar if you fancy it! We meet at 6:50pm to start for 7pm at the Yate Outdoor Sports Complex, Broad Lane, Yate BS37 7LB

Evening begins with warm-up and strides, then the main session between 7:10-8:00pm, then to finish cool-down laps and stretches. The suggested sessions are geared to improve endurance levels from 5K to 10K. I can vouch they work as since I’ve started at Yate I’ve achieved PB’s in 5km, 10km and half marathons all in this year.

Upcoming XC Championships

In addition to the Gwent League fixtures this year we will again hope to send teams to the Tri Counties XC Championships in Bath and the South West XC Championships in Ilminster.

Details are as follows: Tri Counties XC Championships, Bath,  Sunday 19th December 2021. http://s250914043.websitehome.co.uk/avon/CCChamps.html

South West XC Championships , Sunday 2nd January 2022, RNAS Merryfield, Ilminster.  http://s250914043.websitehome.co.uk/SouthWest/Championships.html

Please look out for further details from the various team managers.

Club Hoodies

On Thursday evenings at Coombe Dingle sports centre Tamsin will be bringing a selection of hoodies that people can try on for size before buying. There are very warm and a great for wearing pre and post events at this time of year.

Brailsford Christmas Lights Charity Run followed by Black Swan Buffet Monday 13th December

Brailsford Christmas Lights Charity Run followed by a Christmas buffet sandwich selection at 8pm at The Duck, in the semi-heated gazebo. £7 per person. We can pay on the night. Lou will need to know numbers for food, so please say “yes” if you would like to eat by e-mail to me or responding to Lou’s facebook posting. Please check Run Together for your start times on that evening.

Weston Prom followed by Xmas Meal

Sandra Bailey-gard is kindly organising the annual Westbury post Weston prom Christmas meal on Thursday 16th December.  The entries for the prom are online and in advance, Decembers fixtures are to open shortly. Go to westonac.co.uk and search for the series under Races.

If you want to come let Sandra know. Please put the money in an envelope with your name and menu choices and give to Sandra or Tamsin, for example at Thursday intervals, at the latest by 7/12/21.
£11.99 2 course or 3 courses £13.99 (can round up to £12 & £14!).


There will not be an interval session on this Thursday at Coombe Dingle

Member of the Month Winners

This month’s senior winner was Robyn Ellis. Is there anything Robyn can’t do! Not only did she get an age category win in the recent Bristol and West 5k series but was also 2nd female winner in the Weston Super Half (seen here on the right). Robyn was also very pleased to go under 90 minutes, especially impressive when you consider the course including not one, but two sections on the sand. Robyn can obviously run quickly but she is also very fast on the bike as proved by her win at the Westonbirt Duathlon last weekend. 

The junior winner is Megan Orriss. She has been with the club for quite a few years but has always lacked the confidence to race for us.  She finally plucked up the courage to race at the Swansea Gwent race in March 2020, which was unfortunately cancelled due to heavy rain, and then, of course, Covid prevented any further races last year.  Megan has trained consistently over the various lockdowns and has shown significant improvement in that time, and raced at Cardiff last month, coming 20th in the U15 girls race – and she enjoyed it! This is a tremendous achievement for her which is why she is so worthy of winning the nomination this month.

Up and Running vouchers will be on the way to you both soon. Well done.


2021 World Triathlon Aquathlon Championships El Anillo – Extremadura

The event has a race for elite athletes and then the age group championships with Ben’s event consisting of a 1km swim and a 5km run.  

Ben won the 20-24 age group and was in fact the quickest over all the age groups. He was leading from early in the run which is a 2 lap course, he was somehow directed by a marshal to the finish at the end of lap one rather than off in the second lap. He was expecting to run through and round his second lap but realised it was a dead end and something was wrong! He was able to turn round and go back onto the course, overtake those who were now in front and still finish first. 

Unfortunately when the results were put up he was not on the list as he had not followed the correct route! After an appeal he was reinstated as the winner but this was after the medal ceremony which he missed out on! The medal is being sent on and we will do a presentation at Coombe Dingle on a Monday evening when it arrives.  He has new go faster shoes which clearly go quickly but have no sense of direction!!

Race report and photographs thank to Mark Andrews.

Sugar Loaf Fell Race

A very impressive first and third place for Westbury Harriers at a particularly challenging fell event.  From the firing of the gun it was 5k slog up to the summit of the Sugar Loaf (extra points if you touched the trig point!) and then a tremendously death defying decent to the finish line as runners not only had gravity to assist them but a force 10 tail wind too!

In first place Oli Beale (pictured, photo thanks to Neil Miller) (and first V40) in 43:20, in 3rd (and 1st senior) Finn Goodhew 43:56.

Others include 18th, Ian Gawinowski 52:04, 61st, Jeff Tozer 1:00:07 and 47th, Matt Mohan 1:11:08.

British Masters Cross-Country Relay Championships, Long Eaton, Saturday 30th October 2021

Our VM65s stormed to victory in dramatic fashion to take the National title. Team supremo and organiser Mike Mewse led out the three man team in a lively 13:02 to hand over in 2nd place. Leg 2 saw a welcome return to racing for David George, who kept it steady in 13:37 and preserved Westbury in 3rd place, before handing over to….the Maestro, the “Masters’ Master”, Westbury and Dorset legend Nigel Gates. With the three leading teams close at the handover, Nigel bided his time, picking off Oxford while keeping Sheffield in his sights for the final run in. A trademark burst of speed in the final 400m saw him overhaul and ease past his rival in 12:45 to seal the glory and gold medals for Westbury. Superbly run and well deserved too, with Nigel, David and Mike running the 3rd, 4th and 10th fastest legs overall.

Very well done to the evergreen VW65s Marilyn Palmer, Gill Anagnostakis and Eithne Noonan, who ran three consistent laps all within 13s of each other (17:38, 17:25 and 17:37), in a very close race, to bring home the Bronze for the club. Looking at the other races, it’s a shame we couldn’t get more women’s teams out, as there were definitely medals to be had – many of which, as part of a Bristol takeover for the day, were snaffled up by Bristol & West. So great credit is due to Marilyn, Gill and Eithne for making the journey and the effort, and earning well deserved medals.

The later race in the day saw a 5 man team compete in the V35 category, despite having an average age of around 45 and being up against some borderline elite runners in their prime. Looked at from that perspective, their 7th place finish in a very strong field of 33 teams was a superb achievement. Anthony Glover led Westbury out, in a first leg so blisteringly quick that his impressive 10:29 was only good enough for 11th place, with a couple of “sub-10s” leading the way. Enter Oli Beale, who glided over the grass in a lightning 10:05, the 2nd fastest in that leg (and 10th fastest overall), to bring Westbury up to 4th. When Alan Uren added a flying 10:35, Westbury were briefly in 3rd, but the top teams were saving some 10 and sub-10 boys for the final 2 legs. Robin Phillips (11:27) and Ewan Paton (11:39) might have brought home medals in a V45/V50 race, but with Notts AC flyer Alastair Watson running the fastest leg of the day by anyone (an incredible 9:30), the Westbury men did well to hang on for 7th overall, ahead of many famous team names. Their overall time of 54:15 would have been good enough for silver (and just 31s off gold) in the V45s. So we are claiming virtual and moral medals in the ‘inbetween’ category. At least they will take up less space on the shelf…

Race report by Ewan Paton, photos by Mike Mewse

Strava Segment of the Week

Some great running by Ruth Ruck this morning. It may have only been a short 5km stretch but as Vicky always tells me it’s quality, not quantity that counts. Ruth achieved a Personal Record on her run while taking on the Strava segment ‘NorthOver to the lights’ in a time of 2:10. 

Diary Dates

Sunday 14th November Gwent Cross Country League, Parc de Pugh, Brecon

Sunday 28th November Wiltshire AVR Half Marathon. Has been a club championship event in the past so always popular with the club. http://www.avrwiltshirehalfmarathon.org

Friday 3rd December Night Race Mallards Pike Lake, Forest of Dean. It’s off-road, in the dark and very exciting! https://sites.google.com/site/roguerunsevents/home/our-events/night-runs

Saturday 4th December Gwent League Cross Country, Pembrey Park

Monday 13th December Brailsford Xmas Lights, followed by sandwiches at the Black Swan.

Thursday 16th December. Weston Prom followed by Xmas meal. 

Sunday 19th December Tri Counties XC Championships, Bath

Sunday 19th December Weston’s Christmas Cracker 10k, entires now open. http://www.westonac.co.uk/christmas-cracker

Sunday 26th December Clevedon AC Boxing Day Race. A great event to work off the Christmas excesses. https://www.clevedonac.co.uk/races/2-boxing-day-race

Tuesday 28th December Bank Holiday Festive Run, starting from the Blaise Clubhouse

Sunday 2nd January 2022, South West XC Championships RNAS Merryfield, Ilminster

Sunday 23rd January Doynton Hard Half Marathon, a ‘horrible’ cross country race! https://www.doyntonhardhalfmarathon.co.uk

Saturday 19th February Gwent League Cross Country, Blaise Castle

Saturday 19th March Gwent League Cross Country, Singleton Park, Swansea

Editor this Week

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