Weekly News – Tuesday 23rd April 2024

Westbury Harriers Centenary Event:

I’m going to keep this newsletter introduction short and sweet. There was a lot of bib number pinning and kudos being given over the weekend. So I will let the race reports fill you in on all the action. Congrats to everyone who raced! My hearing is back to normal and throat less sore from all the cheering I did at the London Marathon for over 5 hours, it was nice to be back in my home city for the weekend. There are a few reminders about some important events coming up, please read the information further down.


This week’s editor: Yvette Casallas




Horton Bull Run Road Race by Mike Mewse

A big turnout for the Club Championship race on a lovely Spring evening on the edge of the Cotswolds. A very successful day again with many of the trophies going to Westbury runners in this tough 6.8K road race. 1st male was Matt Cant (pink vest), just ahead of Elliott Chard having a fine run in 2nd place. 1st Female was Freya Bradley with Sophie Voller, making a strong return to racing, our second Westbury lady.

Kate Hoffen (pink vest) and Anthony Glover picked up age category wins.  Full results to follow.

Our thanks to the organisers who did a great job despite a dangerous disruption by a local horsewoman. The incident has since been reported to the Police.

Our Club Champion Alec Sampson (in training for the Newport Marathon) came along to support the runners and provided some photos.

Words by Matthew Cant:

A Sunday morning battling it out against mates on local lanes. It’s always fun to support local races and face off against some old school mates, even if a horse does go berserk 1km into the race (might have to change the name to “Horton Horse Run”).

Words by Elliott Chard:

Pleased to split 5k in 16:24, just seconds outside of last weeks time at Bristol Track Club Odd Down race. Good run out today on a tough undulating course with some friendly club competition. Race was halted by an out of control horse 1/2 mile in, seems to be an annual traditional at this event. Westbury Harriers club top 5.

London Marathon

Some race reports to follow from a few people, but we had a few Westbury Harriers run through the streets of London. Thanks to the club vest, I managed to spot a few of our members. Well done to all who took part, awesome running:

Abigail Oliver (3:45:44), Dan Sampayo (3:51:28), Dave Simpson (5:32:22), James Eke (3:53:35), Tilly Godden (4:49:51), Carys Durie (3:12:36) and Lucy Richens (3:00:05) I believe both have qualified for London Marathon Championship Entry, Sandy Masters (3:28:12) just keeps getting faster and achieved a marathon PB and came 1st in category, Philip Troughton (2:53:37), Colin Pemble (3:14:58), Wiebke Rübke (3:05:38), Roger Farroe (5:31:32). Sorry if I’ve missed anyone else.

A few still shots from videos I took as they whizzed passed me.

Carys Durie’s London Marathon report:

London marathon 2024 – only my second marathon but I reckon that race is hard to beat! Such a special day. The atmosphere around London is unbelievable; the crowd really do carry you around the course. I definitely got swept up in all of the excitement at the beginning and went off a bit faster than planned, but conditions were pretty perfect and I felt strong so just tried to hang onto my pace as long as I could! Came in with a 3:12 finish so championship qualifier time means I’ll be back next year! Thank you to everyone for all of the support – it makes such a huge difference knowing that people are tracking you and rooting for you. Big love to the Westbury Harriers gang. See you all after some rest!

Corsham 10km

Words by Ben Wood

Corsham 10k was awesome, bit of a hilly course and some blustery weather despite the sun. But hats of to the organisers it was a superb event, with over 1000 runners pounding the streets and lanes around Corsham. Lots of support on the course and happy to finish in 40th with 7th V40 finish.

Civil Service Athletics Association Capital Challenge 5K and 10K

Words by Ian Gawinowski

We’re in a year of some impressive anniversary celebrations. You have no excuse for not knowing Westbury Harriers has it’s centenary this year as it’s regularly mentioned in the weekly news and even been covered on the telly, but did you also know the Paris Olympics marks 100 years since the French capital last hosted the games?

Anyway, as a member of the Civil Service Athletics Association (CSAA)  I can trump both these events as the CSAA celebrates 160 years with the first Civil Service Sports Day held in April 1864.  This event was a male only affair but by 1920 women were included in track events. The following year was the first Cross Country Championships and in 1986 they introduced the 10k to the events calendar.

There have been many civil servants that have gone on to represent their country at the highest levels. Fore example Eileen May Hiscock was a track and field athlete who competed for Great Britain in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics.  In more recent times Winford Christie, who worked for the Inland Revenue, is a former Olympic sprinter and BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner.

To commemorate the 160th CSAA anniversary the Capital Challenge 5k fun run/walk and 10k race took place last Wednesday at Battersea Park.  I’d entered the 10k event, along with 223 other civil servants, and had plenty of time before the race started at 3pm. From Victoria Coach Station I strolled over to Battersea Park for some lunch in the park’s café. The café was rammed with posh, glamorous mums and I felt very much like the character ‘Kevin’ from Motherland. What added to the entertainment was seeing a tame Heron swoop down and steal food from the plates of all the mums sitting outside!

But getting back to the running, the first event was the 5k run and walk. I watched the start and then went for a short jog around the park for my warm-up and I was surprised to bump into Jack Millar. Jack is a familiar face as he’s a runner with Bristol and West. After a brief chat it was time to head to the start line.

I knew roughly what to expect as I’d watched a YouTube clip of a series of races called ‘Friday Night Under the Lights’. This was going to be a similar with 4 laps of the park, but with an added bonus of the finish being a section of the athletics track.  Not one for being cautious, I go out hard and hang on. Jack disappeared into the distance (and won in 32:50)  but first lady was on my shoulder all the way around which helped me keep the pace high. It’s also a rare experience for me to be pursued by a woman! On a side note you may be interesting to learn she is the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest 10k while pushing a pram, with her daughter along!

I was very pleased to cross the line, achieve a PB and be the first home for my department. I’m now looking forward to the next event which will be the Civil Service Cross Country Championships on the 9th October.

If you’re a civil servant and fancy this event then why not try it next year (or perhaps this year’s XC)? The event is well organised, with a bag drop, drink stations and plenty of marshals proving encouragement along the course. The route is traffic-free, scenic, and dead flat with great PB potential.

Manchester Marathon

Words by Lorna Miller

I was a little worried about a shock April heatwave popping up, but it was a perfectly overcast day in Manchester for the marathon! I stood at the start line, pretty nervous and excited for what the last 10km of uncharted territory might hold. I told myself it was a guaranteed marathon PB whatever happened.

The route was great – loads of support and I got plenty of shout outs with my name in giant letters on my Westbury vest! Saw some good signs along the way – “Guinness at the finish” & “Pain is temporary but Strava lasts forever”. I had my planned splits scribbled on my wrist and kept looking down at my watch hoping I hadn’t gone off too fast.


I passed the halfway point and it was going to plan – from there it was just counting down the miles. At mile 16 I knew it was only my 10 mile harbourside lunch run left to go! With around 2 miles left, cramp started to twinge in one of my calves, but I knew it was less than a parkrun to go, no point walking now! I had what felt like an ambitious goal of 3:30 in mind, so was buzzing when I passed the finish line in 3:30:23! Hopefully enough to get into London through good for age next year… but first, it was time to put my crocs on and have some pasta to celebrate!


*** If you want to share any news, race stories or results, then please email: communication@westburyharriers.co.uk or you can post on the WH Facebook Group Page. We love to hear about everyone’s achievements and adventures ***




** REMINDER ** CENTENARY DINNER – SATURDAY 18TH MAY 7PM – The Bristol Hotel, Prince St, Bristol BS1 4QF

Westbury Harriers will be holding a slap-up Centenary Dinner at The Bristol Hotel on Saturday 18th May.

There may be one or two short speeches (or ‘presentations’ as Geraint calls them), but the main object is to meet friends old and new, and it should be a great occasion. No dancing, but we’re organising a live harpist to quietly serenade in the background.

Link above for full details to purchase tickets and submit your meal choices. It would be lovely to see many of you there. Partners/friends welcome. Past members encouraged to come along and catch up. Booking deadline of the end of April, so that we can get numbers and meal choices off to the hotel.



Blaise Blazer entries are now open. As people have noticed, unfortunately this year our event clashes with the Hogweed Trot 10km which they have had to move forward a week due to the race HQ they use. This means we really do need people to support the Blaise Blazer both my volunteering to marshal (information will be sent out by Alastair nearer the time) or by taking part in the race. For people new to the club this is a 4 mile (approx.) route around the Blaise estate, a few big hills thrown in for fun, all abilities welcome and lots of cups of tea and cake at the end.



Price is £7 affiliated, £9 unaffiliated

Information here: https://westburyharriers.co.uk/events/blaise-blazer/ 

Please to spread the word to friends, family, work colleagues and other runners.



The Westbury Harrier’s AGM takes place on Thursday 25th April at 7.30pm at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex in the bar area upstairs in the cricket pavilion. All members welcomed and encouraged to come along. Buffet provided. You have received your AGM pack via email on 11/04/24.


**Vacant Posts**

Treasurer Judy Knights – standing down at end of year, so an assistant is required with a view of taking over the role at end of year 2024.

Senior Men’s team manager (*Vacant)

Masters’ Women’s team manager (*Vacant)

Academy Coordinator (*Vacant) –Carrie Jones is standing down in July 2024. Would be good to have a team going forward in this role from September 2024.


**New positions**

Parent Helpers/volunteers at the Gwent League for junior age groups (*Vacancies) – to have assigned parent helpers/volunteer for each or several of the age groups to support the team managers in meeting and greeting, ensuring, youngsters have the right number and these put it back in the folder. Supporting with warming up and checking in with youngsters after the race.

New members enquiries (*Vacancies) 2x or more designated people to deal and respond with new queries for the academy and the junior section.

Marketing & Publicity (*Vacancies) persons to look at marketing the club, social media presence, links with other organisations and promoting the club.

Events co-ordinators (*Vacancies) to have designated people who book and organise the AGM, awards night and any other events – includes the booking and sorting of food/drinks.

Equality, diversion and inclusion (*Vacancies) person/s to focus on and engage with with marginalised groups to help with expanding barriers to participation.


Please get signed up for this event if you are available. This is a really good event with each leg being about 5k around the motor racing circuit. The club pays the entry fee, we can share lifts and the club will contribute towards travel costs. We would like to put out some competitive teams but also give an opportunity to anyone who would like to enjoy taking part. Representing the club as part of a team is great fun, we hope to have a good day out as well as giving it our best in the race!

For the women, we are hoping to enter a V35 team of 4 and FV45, FV55 and FV65 teams of 3. If you would like to take part in this race, then please get in touch: manager.vet.women@westburyharriers.co.uk

Sign up on RunTogether and let you team manager know you want to take part.


Men – Chris Palmer/Mark Andrews: mark.andrews65@me.com



Women – Eithne Noonan manager.vet.women@westburyharriers.co.uk



If anyone would like to purchase a Westbury Harriers t-shirt, please contact Tamsin as she is putting in an order. T-Shirts are custom ordered to individuals – cost £22 adults, £18 juniors. These are ‘official’ so you can race in them. If you need a vest, we keep stock so these are available then you want – £18.50 adults, £15 juniors. We also have crop tops at £20 (it’s got to warm up soon!) Let Tamsin know if you’d like to place an order.


Thanks to everyone who has volunteered to help run the WH stand at the running show in two weeks time. A few more volunteers (particularly men!) would be welcome so if you’re available to help in any of the slots, (9-11, 11-1, 1-3), please contact Mark Andrews or comment on his FB post.





Remember that Senior Training is back at Blaise Clubhouse 6.30pm start.


This week the session is:
Goal: More distance at 5k pace and quicker

1k (slower than 5k pace, with 200m jog/recovery)

3 x 800m (@ 5km pace, with 200m jog/recovery)

3 x 400m (faster than 5k pace, with 100m jog/recovery)

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 join Yate for free as an associate Westbury Harriers member: https://westburyharriers.co.uk/membership/yate-partnership/


Meet every Wednesday at 12pm at the traffic lights by Saville Road on the Downs. Book on via RunTogether HERE.


REMINDER – PLEASE MEET 6:30PM AT COOMBE DINGLE SPORTS COMPLEX – This is due to the AGM Meeting at 7:30pm

Out and back session, pairs of:

30 secs out (30 secs recovery) 30secs back (1min recovery)
40 secs out (30 secs recovery) 40secs back (1min recovery)
50 secs out (30 secs recovery) 50secs back (1min recovery)
60 secs out (30 secs recovery) 60secs back (1min recovery)
90 secs out (30 secs recovery) 90secs back (1min recovery)
90 secs out (30 secs recovery) 90secs back (1min recovery)
60 secs out (30 secs recovery) 60secs back (1min recovery)
50 secs out (30 secs recovery) 50secs back (1min recovery)
40 secs out (30 secs recovery) 40secs back (1min recovery)
30 secs out (30 secs recovery) 30secs back (1min recovery)



A reminder that we have an events calendar on our website where you can keep track of dates for training, events and races. (Thanks, Vicky, for keeping this updated). https://westburyharriers.co.uk/events/events-calendar/

Sunday 28th April – Butcombe Ultra Trail
Sunday 28th April – Berkeley 10k Club Championship #2
Saturday 11th – 12th May –  Avon track and field championships, Yate. More information can be found here
Tuesday 14th MayRose Inn (#1) Club Championship #3
Wednesday 22nd MayLightening Bolt 10k Club Championship #4
Saturday 25th MayBritish Masters Road Relays
Tuesday 4th JuneSri Chinmoy 2 Mile Club Championship #5
Friday 28th JuneBeer n Banger 10k Club Championship #6
Thursday 4th JulyTintern Trot Club Championship #7
Thursday 18th JulyPurdown Pursuit Club Championship #8
Friday 26th JulyTowpath Series 10k Race 3 Club Championship #9


If we have missed any race events that you think should be listed, please contact – communication@westburyharriers.co.uk