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THE HARRIERS HERALD

No. 142, December 2004

 

 

Editorial

Welcome to December’s Harriers Herald.  Following the November and December Thursday night schedules, and reminders about the London Marathon Club Entry and the Christmas Meal, Susanne gives an update of member’s performances in her Bike Challenge.  Mo’s selected Websites cover everything from ‘training pace calculators’ to orthotics.  His recommended race Fixtures list takes us up to the beginning of March.  There are results and short reports for the first Oxford Mail League X-country and the Eynsham 10K Road Race, and Dick tells of his experiences in the Avebury-8.  The second Handicap Race of the Winter Series has been held, and results are given.

Early wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sue

 

 

Thursday night schedule for December

Thurs    2nd                   Vicky to lead (followed by A.G.M.)

Thurs    9th                           Handicap Race

Thurs    16th                   Dick to lead     

Thurs    23rd                   No leader scheduled

Thurs    30th                   No leader scheduled

 

Thursday night schedule for January

Thurs    6th                    Susanne to lead

Thurs    13th                   Lucy to lead

Thurs    20th                   Handicap Race

Thurs    27th                   Pete to lead

 

 

London Marathon Club Entry

I’ve now received our Club Entry.  All those who applied for the 2005 London Marathon and were not accepted are entitled to go into the draw to receive the Club Entry (the draw will take place at the Christmas Meal, so please let me know before then if you qualify).

 

Christmas Meal

For all those attending our Christmas Meal/Party, a reminder that it takes place at ‘The John Barleycorn’ pub in Goring on Saturday 18th December, 19:30 for 20:00.  The cost is £18.50 per person.

 

Bike challenge 2004

Susanne 

After a long meeting with the judges we have finally made a decision regarding Dick's faulty start; we cannot deny that he has a handicap but he does seem to make improvement every day.  So, he will on this occasion only, receive 1 minute in handicap time.  However due to his faulty start we will have to add 70 sec. to his time so the results are currently as follows:

1.    Martin        20:15

2.    Dick          21:12

3.    Mo            26:43

4.    Sue            33:45 (with approx. 1.7 km detour)


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

Mo

 

I receive regular emails from Runners World on a variety of subjects, so I thought this month it would be a good idea to feature RW as one of the links of interest.  The home page can be accessed at http://www.runnersworld.co.uk  However; I would like to suggest that you follow this link also http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?UAN=1681 as it leads to a Race Time Predictor which seems to work rather well.  The calculator lets you input an actual race time over a certain distance to see what you should be capable of at another distance.  There are other similar calculators about, but I particularly like this one. The formula used is also published along with a very interesting article.  (I will attempt to plagiarize and load the calculator on our site for future use).

 

Now, in addition to the Race Time Predictor, the RW site also has a Training Pace Calculator together with an excellent article on all the ingredients required for the serious runner … and of course for the not so serious runner who wishes to improve using a “proper” training regime!  The required link for this is

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?sp=&v=1&UAN=1676.  Have you heard of Yasso 800s?  Well, if you haven’t you should definitely check out the above link and supporting article … you will find it very fascinating.

 

Here is the latest idea for those of you who are interested in orthotics that do not cost an arm and a leg ...  follow this link http://www.orthoticsonline.co.uk … you should be able to make a considerable saving.  The process requires you to fill in and return a questionnaire. From this the company will be able to ascertain whether supports / orthoses will be of benefit and if additional information is required.  An impression box will be sent for you to take an impression of your feet. You then return the impression box to Orthotics Online using the prepaid postage and packaging.  A model of your feet will be made. This will enable a stock device to be fitted to the cast and modified in accordance with the evaluation of the information provided.  The finished device will be returned to you along with the instructions for use.

The cost? … as little as £39.00!

 

I think that’s probably enough excitement for this month, so on to the fixture list … 

 

 

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

 

·   Sunday 5th December 2004 at 10.00amTHE LUTON MARATHON – For full details, visit the race website at  http://www.lutonmarathon.org.uk

 

·   Sunday 5th December 2004 OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE – Enslow Quarry

Ladies Start time: 11.00 am; Men’s Start time: 11.45 am http://www.geocities.com/oxmailxc

 

·   Sunday 5th December 2004VICTORY 5 – Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth – 5-mile road race. Full details       at http://www.acacia-active.co.uk or email portsmouthac@lineone.net

 

·    Sunday 5th December 2004TADLEY RUNNERS XMAS XC 5.3 Hurst Community School, Tadley. http://mysite.freeserve.com/tadley_runners   Start time 11:00 am

 

·   Thursday 16th December 2004 at 7.30 pm - WESTON PROM RUN 2004-2005 SERIES (4 OF 9)

 

·   Sunday 2nd  January 2005 -  OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE – Drayton School, Banbury

Ladies Start time: 11.00 am; Men’s Start time: 11.45 am  http://www.geocities.com/oxmailxc 

 

·   Sunday 9th January 2005 - 10.30am start – WOODCOTE 10K - Village Green Woodcote.   http://www.woodcote-online.co.uk/CharityRunEntryForm.html

 

·   Sunday 16th January 200511:00am start - THE FIFTH WENDOVER MULTI-TERRAIN 5 – Wendover Woods. http://www.justracinguk.com/mt5/2005/mt5_05.htm

 

·   Sunday 6th February 2005 - OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE – Cirencester

Ladies Start time: 11.00 am; Men’s Start time: 11.45 am  http://www.geocities.com/oxmailxc

 

·   Sunday 20th February 200510:30am start – THE DURSLEY DOZEN – Dursley, Gloucester http://www.g4cio.demon.co.uk/ddozen/ddozen.htm

 

·    Sunday 20th February 200510:00am start – BEACON HILL 3M RACE Beacon Hill, Newbury

Organised by Team Kennet (Contact Nick Bull).

 

·   Sunday 27th February 200511:00am start – THE GORING 10K – Goring-on-Thames        http://www.goring10k.com

 

·   Sunday 27th  February 2005 - at 10:30 am - THE TERMINATOR (10-ISH MILE MT) – Pewsey, Wilts

 

·   Sunday 6th March 2005 - OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE – Shotover, Horspath

Ladies Start time: 11.0 am; Men’s Start time: 11.45 am  http://www.geocities.com/oxmailxc

 

 (Mo - Dec 2004)

 

Oxford Mail Cross-Country, Ascott-Under-Wychwood, 7th November

Sue F

 

            For the third successive year, Nick entered a combined Team-Kennet / Compton Harriers team in the Oxford Mail League, which consists of a series of five cross-country races between November and March.  The first race of the series took place at Ascott-Under-Wychwood, near Burford, on an equine cross-country course.  The weather was miserable: overcast with persistent fine rain and the ‘car park’, a farmer’s field, was becoming progressively squidgier as more competitors arrived.

            The running course was a ‘proper cross-country’ including fields, muddy paths, a water splash and a 250m hill  up to the finish, all very soft underfoot.  The ladies race was approximately 3 miles and was won by Wendy Jones of Cirencester in 19:10.  The Team Kennet placings were: 11th, 12th (Sue F, 22:14), 76th, 84th (Yvonne, 28:30), 85th, 93rd.

The men’s race was almost 6 miles and featured some entertainment as some sheep in a neighbouring field jumped over a dry stone wall to find themselves on the course amongst the runners.  Runners and sheep looked terrified and there was temporary chaos until the sheep found a way into another field.  Nick had to drop out with a calf strain, while Pete realised he wasn’t quite over his bad cold and decided one lap was enough.  However, it was nice to see Dick finish with a big grin on his face, having completed his first race since his back operation.  The winner was veteran Chris Sykes of Woodstock, in 31:50.  The Team Kennet placings were: 11th (Tom Munt, 33:38), 83rd, 171st, 182nd (Dick, 46:47), 189th, 193rd, 205th, 214th.

 

Avebury 8, 21st November

Dick

 

Last year our friends at Marlborough Running club invited Compton Harriers to a free “try-out” running of their proposed Avebury 8.  A few of us attended, had a nice little jolly round a less than inspiring route, and came away with a free mug apiece.  I think I also had a bottle of wine for my trouble, and possibly Sue B/F did too.  Anyway, the upshot was that when Marlborough sent an entry form for the first official 8, I felt some obligation to have a bash and make it my first event since February.  So it was that Sunday last I set of in a westerly direction on the A4 for Avebury.

 

Any of you who have had experience of our car in the last five years or so will know that the Digiplex unit, that controls the ignition timing, has a habit of over advancing the spark causing the engine to cut out intermittently on cold damp days.  We have come to accept this glitch, as it only occurs in winter and is easily solved by pulling over and switching off for a few seconds.  If you don’t pull over, it will stutter on, getting slower and slower, until you can barely keep moving.  This is a bit irritating in the normal way, but when you’re doing about 85 and committed to overtaking three cars, in the face of oncoming vehicles, it does get quite exciting.  I turned off to Avebury with heart already pounding and in no need of a warm up.

 

As I approached the well signed car park a lovely young lady invited me to follow the marshal’s directions and reminded me that I would need to fork out another quid as it was “Pay & Display”.  I dutifully shuffled off to the meter to find with immense joy that parking was free for National Trust members.  What a valuable investment that £60 annual subscription has turned out to be.

 

Being slightly embarrassed by my new status as “the old bloke with a pony-tail and a limp” (why this is so much worse than being “the old bloke with a pony-tail” I can’t explain) I decided to change in the car before heading for the village hall and Start.  The plan was to sneak round there when most would be on their way to the line, drop off my kit and Compton entry forms in the hall, and reach the Start just in time for the off.  My timing was slightly out though as, when I reached the High Street, there were plenty of runners still massed outside the hall.  Marie-Anne Fischer (known to us as Mrs. Hanno) spotted me first and greeted me with a loudish, “Hello Dick, are you running?”  I barely had time to mumble that I was just giving it a try; that it was first time out other than XC and furthest attempted since February, before someone whose name I have forgotten, came out of the hall and used exactly the same greeting.  This time I didn’t have a chance to answer before Alan Joslyn emerged using those same few words.  He spoke with such volume and incredulity that everyone looked round to see who this poor soul with the crippling disability could be.  If I hadn’t been warmed up before - I was now! 

 

Seeking refuge in the now almost empty hall, I deposited my bag, distributed a few forms and vowed to stay behind the others until the race began.  I managed to hang back on the 300 yard or so walk to the Start, but when I got there something strange happened.  During the Starter’s chat, in which I recall him mentioning mud and water-wings several times, I couldn’t help moving nearer the front.  You see, when I’m standing still, I don’t feel any slower than I was this time last year!  As I looked around at the others assembled there, I was somehow convinced that, when it came to it, I would miraculously be able to run normally again.  Well, it didn’t happen.  As we set off I was thankful that I’d resisted the urge to get right up front and that only a few came past in the first half mile, to establish me in what I guessed to be about thirtieth place.

           

Those of you who ran here last time will know that, despite the local terrain being quite hilly, the course is - for some of us at least - boringly flat.  The redeeming feature for me is that the underfoot conditions, in some parts, are quite demanding.  Wet and muddy it was last year, this time it was very wet and very muddy indeed.  Many of us took a fall and some, by the look of them afterwards, took several.  As far as I am aware though, nobody was seriously harmed.   On the tougher sections I was able to hold my own, but in the middle of the route there is a long stretch of firm track on which, despite the distraction of cheery greetings from Tim and later Ted, I lost the plot.  Several runners passed me here while I was in the doldrums.  Once we got back on the slippery stuff and particularly when I heard a voice behind say, “Oh no, here we go again!”, I perked up, held off any further challenges and actually finished quite strongly.  Given that some had come by while I dragged both feet, my earlier guesstimation must have been close.  I was home in 39th place, obviously nearer the back than I would like, but still in the first half.

 

At the Finish I “saw in” a couple more runners before heading back to the hall to collect my T-shirt and discover the flaw in my plan.  Clean clothes I had, but no shoes other than a very muddy pair of RXs.  This, coupled with the prospect of one of Daph’s Sunday dinners, was sufficient reason for me to abandon all principles and shamefully slink off home without waiting to applaud the winners. 

Nigel Shepherd was first back in 55:39.  Unless anyone with a Christian name of Nigel, Allan, Jonathon, Richard or Robert was female, Deborah Wilkins was first lady in 1:00:09.  Fred Fox, incidentally, whom I know to be a bloke and used to beat, was fourth in 57:53.  I took 1:11:00 and Janice Rambridge, who was last and 91st at the same time, took 46½ minutes longer.

 

Eynsham 10K Road Race, 28th November

Sue F

 

            Four Compton Harriers took part in the Eynsham 10K (although, I’m ashamed to say, one was registered as a Reading A.C. athlete, though wearing her Compton Harriers vest).  Although it had rained overnight, race-day itself was dry and not too cold.  I was pleased with my run and, despite fading a bit in the last 3K, was just 13 seconds slower than in 2004.  Susanne and Lucy have both been training hard and had P.B.s in mind for this fast course.  They each had brilliant races, both smashing their P.B.s by about 2 minutes (wish I could do that!).  Mo struggled and was disappointed to be outside the 55-minute mark, but he still beat 64 people and was 20 minutes ahead of the last finisher.  As Susanne tactfully reminded him: ‘There can’t be many people of your age who can still run!’.

            After a quick change into clean clothes (the ladies showers had cold water, while the men’s showers had no water at all) we attended the prize-giving.  I received a nice silver cup for being third vet-35 lady, though I noticed in the results that a vet-45 lady was third overall and some two-minutes quicker than me!  Once again, it was a very well organised event and all finishers received a nice royal blue T-shirt.

            At ‘The Queen’s Head’ in Eynsham, Susanne learnt the meaning of the English phrases ‘Sarnie’, ‘Butty’, ‘Brunch’ and ‘Brekky’.  It was chip-butties and cheese-toasties all round to reward ourselves for a successful morning’s work.

 

Results

First man                      30:57

First lady                      35:44

Sue F                           39:30               89th

Susanne                        43:55               192nd

Lucy                             46:10               260th

Mo                               58:21               496th

Last finisher                  81:30               560th

 

Handicap Race (Village Lap)

Sue F

     Seven runners took part in November’s Village Lap handicap race.  It was cold, drizzling, blustery and dark.  On top of this, we had to contend with various obstructions on the route, including cars parked all around the top of Newbury Lane and down Fairfield due to a school event, and a fish & chip van at the finish.  Dick was only slightly slower than last month which, given the conditions, was pretty good and fast enough to give him a 29-second victory to retain the trophy.  Marie, finally recovered from some nasty ailments, ran very well to take second spot.  I managed to pick up third place again, while Susanne put in a storming sprint finish for fourth.  Mo held off the finishing challenge of Pete and Tom although Pete, in his first handicap race, was awarded fifth spot for the points scoring, as Jan accidentally set him off ten seconds too late.  Thanks to Jan for timing in unpleasant conditions – she resisted the temptation to have a portion of fish & chips instead.  December’s handicap race is scheduled for Thursday 9th December.  As Dick is now making rapid progress each month he has suggested that, rather than having his start time determined in the same way as everyone else’s (by the average of previous four performances), he would like to start at a time 20 seconds faster than he ran the previous month.  This will give him more incentive to push himself (and give the rest of us a chance!).

 

 

Pos

Name

Start time

Finish time

Actual time

Handicap Beaten?

1

Dick

2:12

16:19

14:07

-0:41

2

Marie

3:04

16:48

13:44

-0:12

3

Sue F

5:21

17:06

11:45

+0:06

4

Susanne

4:09

17:19

13:10

+0:19

5

Mo

0:45

17:25

16:40

+0:25

6

Pete

3:26

17:29

14:03

New Runner

7

Tom

1:56

17:31

15:35

+0:31

 

 

Position

Name

Race points

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

Race 5

Race 6

Total

1

Dick

7

7

-

-

-

-

14

2

Sue F

5

5

-

-

-

-

10

3=

Marie

-

6

-

-

-

-

6

3=

Vicky

6

-

-

-

-

-

6

5=

Lucy

4

-

-

-

-

-

4

5=

Tom

3

1

-

-

-

-

4

5=

Susanne

-

4

-

-

-

-

4

8=

Mo

1

2

-

-

-

-

3

8=

Pete

-

3

-

-

-

-

3

10

Martin

2

-

-

-

-

-

2

11

Yvonne

1

-

-

-

-

-

1