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THE HARRIERS HERALD

No. 146, April 2005

 

Editorial

Welcome to April’s Harriers Herald.  March was a very busy month for many of our club members, with our own Compton Downland Challenge races taking place on the 19th.  The hard work of club members, friends, family and locals on, before and after the big day, was rewarded by another great event with fantastic weather into the bargain. Several Harriers also took part on the day and you can read Lucy’s report of her first 40-mile experience. Congratulations to Dick, whose organisation and work over recent months made everything go so well.

 

As usual, we begin this HH with Thursday night schedules.  Mo’s Website contribution this month focuses on the Compton Challenge event, and his Fixtures  list features a variety of races for April and May.

 

There are several race reports this month.  Sue Paulin was persuaded to run the Reading Half Marathon and did very well off limited training.  The combined Team Kennet / Compton team achieved good results in the final Oxford Mail cross-country race.  Lucy reports on the Compton Downland Challenge and there are brief results for the Grizzly.  With the final winter Handicap Race now run, the Handicap Series has reached its conclusion and the champion has been crowned.  Full results below.

 

Good luck to Lucy, Vicky, Yvonne and Phil who are all taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday 17th.  Finally, thanks to Sue P, Lucy and Mo for their contributions to this issue.

Sue

 

Thursday night schedule for April

Thurs    7th                    Dick to lead

Thurs    14th                   Susanne to lead

Thurs    21st                   Handicap Race            

Thurs    28th                   Vicky to lead

 

Thursday night schedule for May

Thurs    5th                    Lucy to lead

Thurs    12th                   Tom to lead

Thurs    19th                   IAH Relay – provisional date set at recent Rec. Soc. meeting

Thurs    26th                   Marie to lead

  

Website update… http://comptonharriers.cjb.net/

Mo

 

Following yet another successful Downland Challenge, messages of thanks and congratulations have been coming in via email and also in our guest book.  I have replied to all messages and copied most to Harriers who were involved on the day.  Should you have the time, then you might like to visit the Runners World website and look through the Forum topic ‘Events’ where there has been quite a bit of activity and comment on the Downland Challenge … most of it very good.  One ‘thread’ lasts for 71 messages … but it all seems to stop after I added my comment!  There are also several other threads on the event; all can be investigated at http://www.runnersworld.co.uk .

Photos taken by Tom, our resident photographer, are being processed by your webmaster and gradually uploaded to the website where they can be purchased for a small fee (£2.00 each for an A5 sized photo).  The fee will cover the cost of materials and provide approximately £1.00 per photo to be donated to our race charity (Compton Village Hall fund).  Tom has very kindly agreed to receive orders and despatch prints to the customer.

 

Fixtures: A selection of local and other well known events for your information:-

 

·   Sunday 3rd April 2005WHITE HORSE HALF MARATHON – 1000hrs Millbrook School, Grove http://www.whitehorseharriers.homestead.com

 

·   Sunday 3rd April 2005THE HANHAM HORROR 6 MILES – 1100hrs Vicarage Rd playing field, Hanham, Bristol.  Woodland trails and towpath along the River Avon.  (Email your webmaster for an entry form)

 

·   Sunday 3rd April 2005CHEDWORTH ROMAN TRAIL 10 MILES 10:30 am multi terrain, tracks, footpaths, fields and river crossing.  Chedworth Village Hall, 6 miles north of Cirencester. (Email your webmaster for an entry form)

 

·   Sunday 10 April 2005 - PEWSEY VALE 10K  - 11:00am, Pewsey Sports Centre, Wilcot Road, Pewsey, Wilts

           

·   Sunday 10th April 2005COMBE GIBBET TO OVERTON 16 – 1400hrs http://www.overtonharriers.org.uk

 

·   Sunday 17th April 2005THE FLORA LONDON MARATHON – 0945hrs Blackheath, London http://www.london-marathon.co.uk

 

·   Sunday 24th April 2005 at 11am  - THE HIGHWORTH 5 MILE - Warneford school, Shrivenham Road, Highworth, Wiltshire.  www.swindonweb.com/hrc

 

·   Sunday 8th May 2005 at 10.30am - 8TH CHOLSEY CHASE - 8-mile multi terrain race along lanes and bridleways of the Berkshire Downs. The Pavilion, Station Road, Cholsey Nr Wallingford Oxon.

            (Email your webmaster for an entry form)

 

·   Sunday 8th May 2005 at 10.00am – HAIRY LEGS CHALLENGE – X-Country 5k Run – 20k Bike – 5k Run, Goring-on-Thames.  www.mountainhigh.co.uk

 

·   Thursday 19th May 2005 at 5.30pmIAH RELAY – Compton

 

·    Saturday 21st May 2005MARLBOROUGH DOWNS CHALLENGE 33 or 20 mile routes – Runners Start times 9:00 am long route, 10:45 am short route.  (Email your webmaster for an entry form)
 
(Mo – Apr 2005)

Reading Half Marathon, Sunday 6th March

Sue P

 

Having decided I would absolutely not enter any races for a while, due largely to my lack of fitness, I was persuaded that it would be a nice idea to run the Reading half as a way of catching up with old friends and ex running partners – namely June, Tash and Claire.  I am easily led and agreed at once, only to later worry about a million and one things that might let me down: what if I can’t make the distance; what if I have an injury; what if I am the last to finish…….. excuses, excuses, excuses!!!!

            So with 2 weeks to go, I thought I had better make the effort and get a long run in to prove to myself that at least I could get past the 3-mile point.  For this I thank Pete and Susanne for being patient with my slow pace during a Sunday run on the Ridgeway.  After this, I started to feel better and even began to look forward to the prospect of racing again.  By very bad planning on my part however, I had arranged a dinner party at our house the night before the event.  So instead of the more acceptable build up to a big race, I went to bed very late, with a huge amount of food and a moderate amount of alcohol inside me!  Luckily, I felt very sprightly on the Sunday morning and June, Dave and I travelled up to meet Tash and Claire in one of the designated car parks close to the start.  The traffic was horrendous however – something had gone horribly wrong with the organisation and lanes were closed off into the town centre meaning that we queued for about 1 hr coming off at the M4 junction 11.  As a consequence, the race start was delayed by about 30 minutes, during which time nearly 10,000 annoyed people were waiting in the bitterly cold weather at the start!

            Despite the organisational problems, which I don’t remember from previous years, the Reading Half is a good race with great crowd support along a fairly flat route.  As a change from the last time I ran this one, the finish this year was in the Madjeski Stadium, which was pretty amazing.  All of us had a great time and for personal reasons were pleased with our times: Tash and Claire because they had done loads of training and smashed their half marathon PB by 7 minutes; June and I because we finished, felt great and beat the ‘Cheeky Girls’!!!

            Sue and June:               2:06:45

            Tash and Claire:            2:07:46

 

 

Oxford Mail Cross-Country Races, Sunday 6th March

Sue F

 

            The final race in the five-race Oxford Mail cross-country series took place at Horspath, near Oxford on a sunny, but cold, Sunday morning.  The race route began on dry playing fields before heading around the edges of arable fields, leading the runners to the bottom of a tough hill up through the woods to Shotover Plain.  A short level stretch was followed by a muddy descent, with tree roots to dodge, down to a boggy track, before finishing back on the playing field.  The ladies race was over one lap (~ 5K), while the mens’ race was almost twice as far.

               The ladies race was again won by V35 Wendy Jones (Cirencester) in 21:17.  Our Team Kennet ladies A team did very well to finish third in this race, and fourth in the whole series.  The individual placings were: 7th (Sue F, 23:40), 10th (Helen Preedy, 24:30), 20th (Marie, 26:45), 23rd (Vicky, 26:52), 42nd, 55th.  In the overall series, Sue and Helen took the prizes for second and third senior ladies respectively, and Vicky was 6th senior lady.
               The men’s race was won by Tom Penfold (White Horse Harriers) in 35:43.  Team Kennet mens’ team placed an excellent 5th on the day, and 5th overall in Division 2.  Individual placings in this race were: 40th (Tom Munt, 40:48), 82nd, 93rd (Iain, 45:17), 100th (Nick, 46:10), 142nd (Dick, 50:16), 147th, 162nd, 174th, 175th.  Tom Munt was third V40 man overall.

Compton Downland Challenge, Saturday 19th March

Lucy

 

As this was my first attempt at the distance I was lucky to have every possible condition go right – the weather in particular.  Also, to have good local knowledge of the course and a bagger with limitless tea-making potential.  I started at a nice easy pace, bouncing along in my spongy road shoes on the dry trails and reached the 10 mile mark with no effort at all, breaking off from concentrating on the pretty scenery to chat to Martin Warren and a nice lady from Hastings.  Before the big hill at Streatley I decided that a bush-stop was in order, however little cover there was, and also decided to walk rather than run up the hill.  I picked up my camelbak at Streatley Hill car park and, after that, the hills were do-able, with a little help from a handful of sweaty liquorice allsorts at Westridge farm.  The cup of tea from Martin at Aldworth was very useful and enabled me to muster up a vapid grin for Tom’s camera at checkpoint 3.  All the way up to Churn Hill while the 20-ers were panting as they overtook me I was barely registering a breath every 6 steps, which was quite encouraging since there was still 23 miles to go.  The descent to Compton via the crow’s foot was enlivened by an excessively bare runner going in the opposite direction (a common site in these parts, apparently).  I stopped at the railway bridge to pick up a sun hat, more water, some mini-cheddars and a banana.  This was pre-arranged with Martin so I wouldn’t stop at the Swan, and be presented with the choice of re-starting or taking an early bath!  It was such a lovely day that I had no second thoughts, however and jogged off happily towards Chilton.

The concrete road that leads to Churn bridge was somewhat desolate, and the people in front seemed to be getting more distant.  I was overtaken when we hit the grass, but then overtook a couple more near Chilton.  Martin came running out to meet me and soon after the checkpoint I had a brief shouted exchange with Marie at the roundabout (“well done”, etc).  The paths up to Harwell were not too bad, and I had a cup of tea to celebrate the 26-mile mark.  Now I was into unknown territory, distance-wise, but it made no difference to my speed, in fact I cheered up a bit as there was no one in sight in front or behind.  This soon changed, as some guys had missed a right turn and were coming back.  When we got down to the Hendred checkpoint Martin and Diccon dashed off to paint more yellow lines and I ate some particularly delicious bananas.  Even though there was still nearly 12 miles to go I felt quite good and ran almost all the way up the hill to the Ridgeway, overtaking a couple of guys on the way. 

At Scutchamer I was expecting to see Susanne, but there were some nice ladies there anyway, who gave me lots of encouragement and a marmite sandwich. At Sheep Down I spotted what looked like another lady in front, but had to have a bush-stop before making chase.  She and her partner were going well, and it wasn’t until Hodcott stables that I caught up.  After overtaking them I could hardly take a rest, so picked it up until East Ilsley, catching up another chap on the way.  Martin met us with water and bananas, which he fed to the chap, then he ran back with me to Ilsley.  With a handful of sweets from the East Ilsley checkpoint and Peter offering encouragement I stomped off up Shrill Down, overtaking another chap on the way up my well-known training hill.  Near the junction with the 20-mile route, Martin caught up again, having run all the way from the school, and we took off up the home strait, him carrying my excess baggage and offering swigs of water.  The final push along the field from Mayfield seemed quite a bit longer than usual, probably due to the dip in the middle, but soon I was dashing down the Compton road, being clapped by Susanne and Nigel.  My sprint finish was quite spectacular after a dubious pace across the field, but you have to keep something in the bag!

 

Our glorious Compton Harriers had the following results:

 

Compton 20

 

Susan FRANCIS, 2:42:36 (3rd Lady)

Philomena MBURU, 3:25:23

John MASON, 4:13:50

 

 

Compton 40

 

Martin WARREN, 6:49:50 (Ex-Harrier)

Lucy GETTINS, 7:27:05

The Grizzly, Sunday 13th March

 

            Eight Compton Harriers (plus Susanne’s brother, Klaus) completed this year’s 20-mile Grizzly race on a lovely warm, sunny day.  Even the underfoot conditions were favourable, with very little mud (much to Tom’s disappointment) but, of course, we still had to contend with the bog, the beach and the ‘Stairway to Heaven’.   Hopefully, there will be a full report next month but, in the meantime, here are the Harriers’ results:

 

50              2:36:47 Martin Fray

150            2:50:15             Nigel Henton    

242            2:58:23             Susan Francis

615            3:25:46            Klaus Enhard                                                       

616            3:25:46             Susanne Enhard

648            3:28:11             Lucy Gettins       

903            3:47:05             Peter Humphreys  

1005          3:55:07             Tom Doy

1324          4:26:05             Malcolm Francis

 

First man:               2:12:08             Neil Holmes      Erme Valley Harriers

First lady:               2:38:41             Sharon Daw       East Cornwall Harriers

Last finisher:           6:15:00             Oliver Mayfield                                                   

 

 

 

 

Handicap Race

Sue

 

            March’s Handicap Race was held in good running conditions, with a little daylight remaining to help us.  Pete continued his good series of races with another win, and a personal best time too.  Lucy was close behind, equaling her best, with me taking third.  Martin, in 4th, recorded the fastest time of the day.  Tom accompanied new runner, Phil(omena), on her first Harriers Handicap Race which she apparently thoroughly enjoyed.  Mo, continuing his return to fitness, did well to run 90 seconds faster than in the previous month.

 

Pos

Name

Start time

Finish time

Actual time

Handicap Beaten?

1

Pete

3:19

16:31

13:12

-0:29

2

Lucy

3:08

16:41

13:33

-0:19

3

Sue F

5:14

16:52

11:38

-0:08

4

Martin

5:55

17:07

11:12

+0:07

5

Tom

1:25

17:19

15:54

+0:19

6

Phil

1:25

17:20

15:55

New Runner

7

Mo

0:14

17:49

17:35

+0:49

 
Winter Handicap Series Results

 

As last year, the Winter Handicap Series consisted of six once-monthly races around the 3K Village Lap route, with points awarded for finishing position and each person’s best five performances counting towards their total score.  A total of twelve runners took part in at least one race but only Tom and I participated in all six (isn’t it Tom who says he doesn’t enjoy the Handicap Race….) with Lucy, Pete and Mo running five.  The aim was to reward improving or consistent performance, and regular commitment.

 

Dick won the first two races and, with good improvement with every month following his operation, looked as if he would surely win the series.  However, in order to make a better ‘competition’ for us others, as well as for himself, Dick suggested that he should be handicapped more harshly than everyone else in subsequent races.  At this time, Pete’s continual improvement began to really show as, over the final four races, he recorded an impressive string of three wins with one second placing behind Yvonne.  This gave Pete a total of 30 points, a clear five-point victory.  I took second place overall, having consistently finished third in most of the races.  Dick did well to take third spot, ahead of last year’s champion, Lucy (incidentally, her winning total in 2004 was 32 points).

 

Pete’s prize was a voucher for Wildsports (Newbury) (where Harriers can get a 10% discount upon presentation of their membership card), while Dick, Lucy and I had edible prizes.  Congratulations to Pete and thanks to all who took part – I hope you enjoyed it.  Finally, a big thank you to Jan for braving the elements to time us every month – I’m sure this is a more challenging task than actually running the race.

 

As last year, I have scheduled the Handicap Races less frequently over the summer months, to allow for more Thursdays running over the Downs.  The next Handicap date is April 21st.

 

 

Name

Race points

Final Position in Series

Race 1

21-10-04

Race 2

18-11-04

Race 3

09-12-04

Race 4

20-01-05

Race 5

17-02-05

Race 6

10-03-05

Five Best Performances

Points Total

Pete

-

3

7

7

6

7

7, 7, 7, 6, 3

30

1

Sue

5

5

2

5

5

5

5, 5, 5, 5, 5

25

2

Dick

7

7

6

-

1

-

7, 7, 6, 1

21

3

Lucy

4

-

4

4

2

6

6, 4, 4, 4, 2

20

4

Tom

3

1

1

6

4

3

6, 4, 3, 3, 1

17

5

Yvonne

1

-

-

3

7

-

7, 3, 1

11

6=

Marie

-

6

5

-

-

-

6, 5

11

6=

Susanne

-

4

1

-

3

-

4, 3, 1

8

8=

Mo

1

2

3

-

1

1

3, 2, 1, 1, 1

8

8=

Martin

2

-

-

-

1

4

4, 2, 1

7

10

Vicky

6

-

-

-

-

-

6

6

11

Phil

-

-

-

-

-

2

2

2

12