Westbury Harriers Weekly News

Saturday 19th February

Westbury Harriers – Weekly News

Editors Piece

Good luck to everybody racing at today’s John H Collin Gwent Cross Country league at Blaise Castle. The action starts from 11:30 with the U11 girls all the way to 14:30 with the senior men and masters.

All the runners will need plenty of support, so friends, family and neighbours are encouraged to head up the the castle and give a big cheer, runners young and old will appreciate it.

It will be very busy at Blaise today so do consider walking, cycling or being dropped off as car parking will be limited. 


Volunteers for Gwent Cross-Country

If you’ve not yet volunteered your service to Kay I’m sure she would still be appreciative of any additional help. There’s still time to head up to our club house at Blaise Castle before the first race, which starts at 11:30 this morning.

Yate Track Session

As we’re heading towards the end of the month the sessions are gradually building in length, great if you’ve got a marathon of half coming up.  This Tuesday the suggested session involves 3 x 1km efforts with 200m jog/walk recoveries in between. Then a 400m float before 4 x 500m intervals with 100m jog/walk recoveries.

As always the session will commence and end with dynamic stretches, social warm up laps, cool down laps and stretching. 

Blaise Blazer Returns!

I’ve had some great news from Tamsin as the Blaise Blazer returns on the evening of Monday 6th June. This is the clubs very own trail race, and many runners have said it’s their favourite race!

The Blaise Blazer is an annual 4 mile (approx.) race set to the backdrop of the biggest hills and best views to found in the beautiful grounds of Blaise Castle Estate, Bristol. Moving across a range of tarmac, grass and trails, with a few hills and descents to enjoy.

Further details near the time.

Ironwood Challenge- CANCELLED

Just in case you’ve not seen it already here’s another reminder that Sunday’s Ironwood Challenge has been cancelled due to storm damage on the course. 

The organisers hope to reschedule the event later this year. Entrants will be notified by e-mail of the new date.

Blast from the Past

Another ‘Blast from the Past’ this week, this time to celebrate Neil Miller’s win from the Centaur Multi-Terrain 10 miler. Neil tells us, ‘ I think this must be the ‘man v horse v mountain bike’, which wasn’t actually a straight race, but the different components set off at different times, horses first, then runners, then bikes.

I actually overtook several horses, who were more interested in sampling the different lush grasses around the route, but was in turn overtaken by several very earnest mountain bikers. The last section was a long uphill back to the plateau of the Bath Racecourse (the base for the race), and I completely blew up. Luckily, I had a big lead, and also some of the mountain bikers weren’t so smug on the uphill, giving me something to pull me to the finish.’

Indoor Champion

Nothing seems to hold back Westbury Harrier, Ellie Leather. Ellie is currently studying a sports scholarship at Cincinnati University, while also making the headlines for indoor racing with numerous PB’s and records.  The mile is a big event in the US and Ellie achieved a PB of 4:34:90 (also within the top 10 all time UK women’s rankings) at the Music City Challenge event in Nashville.

Wednesday Water Tower Run

‘Wednesday Evening Social Run in Storm Dudley’, say’s one of our most popular and favourite run leaders, Mark Andrews. He goes on to report, ‘it takes more than a storm to stop the Wednesday gang! An enjoyable social run with a large mixed pace group. Always great to catch up with the regulars and welcome some new runners to the group!’

Hyde Park Relays

Hyde Park Relays, the largest annual student relays in the UK, sees over 500 competitors take to the paths of the iconic Hyde Park in Central London every year since 1949 to complete 5km laps in men’s or mixed teams of 5 and women’s teams of 4. 

Proud dad of Rhi (both of whom are Westbury Harrier members) reports.

Well done to Rhiannon Paton and her Oxford University team mates at yesterday’s Hyde Park Relays 2022 in London. Over 60 teams of students took part in a hugely enjoyable event on a sunny but chilly day, ranging from elite level flyers to fully costumed Spidermen, Super Marios and cheerleaders. Just to show that there is always the next race to look forward to after a disappointing run, a week after a “DNF” through illness at the BUCS XC, Rhiannon smashed her 5k PB, running her leg in 18:12 to help her Oxford team, “The Blister Sisters”, to the 3rd place baton.

Minibus to the Nationals

We have some spare places on a minibus going to The Nationals on 26th February.  Departing  Coombe Lane (just outside Coombe Dingle) at 7am on Saturday morning, and also picking up from the lay-by 500m north of M4 junction 18 (Bath junction) for those living in Yate (around 7:30am).

We’ll be staying until the end, depending on whether there are any senior men on board. Please let Neil Miller know if you would like to come (together with a mobile phone number).


Well done to club member Ben Wood. Ben says’ don’t know if this is newsworthy but I bagged a first place in a very hilly trail race in South Devon last week. It had 400m elevation over 11km and was pretty punchy. I wore my club vest with pride! ‘

Of course it’s newsworthy Ben! Remember, you don’t need to win a race to be mentioned here, even enjoying an event, whether on the road or trails is worthy of mention. Just let me know, ideally with a few words and a photo.

Strava Segment of the Week

Well done to Sandra Sforza for her 34 minutes of Afternoon Activity, recorded on Strava. As runners it’s always good to do some all-round activity to improve strength and core. Yoga, lifting weights and core exercises all make us better runners, as demonstrated by Sandra yesterday.

Diary Dates

Saturday 19th February Gwent League Cross Country, Blaise Castle.

Sunday 20th February Castle Coombe Chilly 10k and Chilly Spring Duathlon. DB Max Events.

Sunday 20th February Ironwood Challenge 2022 Off road 10k trail race.  https://tinyurl.com/2p8atcez CANCELLED.

Saturday 26th February. Cross Country Nationals Parliament Hill, London

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

Saturday 19th March 20 & 1/2 Fission ,fast flat 20 miler starting at Berkeley Power Station. Half marathon option too. Now in its 7th year, this event has sold out every year. 

Sunday 20th March Forest of Dean Spring Half Marathon. https://www.rotary-rfod.org.uk/events.php

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

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)

Sunday 29th May Bath Half Marathon 

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

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

Editor this Week

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