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THE HARRIERS HERALD

No. 173, July 2007

Editor: Sue Francis

 

In brief

·        Thursday night schedules for July and August

·        Correspondence received in June

·        Thanks to Sus, Kev, Mo and Lucy for their contributions this month

·        Copy date for August’s Harriers Herald:  1st August

 

Features and reports

·        Ridgeway Relay - Compton Harriers finish an excellent 13th

·        Grand Union Canal Race - Lucy reports on her amazing feat

·        Chiltern Chase 10K – Sus reports on a scenic race with sticky prizes

·        Great Bedwyn 10K – Kev’s first race since injury, and Sus wins a prize

·        Lambourn 6K – Ryan improves on last years time, while Sue struggles in the mud

·        South Downs Way Marathon – Ryan completes a tough event in bad weather

·        Boundary Race – a win for Ryan at his first attempt

·        Handicap Race – a win for Peter L over the new route, but who’s leading the championship?

·        Mo’s Website Update – Mo features the ‘Event Finder’ on our club website

·        Events Diary – Mo’s choice of races for the summer and autumn

  

Thursday night schedule for July

Thurs    5th        Mo to lead      

Thurs    12th        Andy to lead

Thurs    19th      Sus to lead

Thurs    26th      Rich to lead

 

Thursday night schedule for August

Thurs    2nd        Peter L to lead

Thurs    9th        Handicap Race

Thurs    16th      Lucy to lead

Thurs    23rd      Tom to lead

Thurs    30th      Ryan to lead

 

Correspondence received

Sender

Subject matter

Action

Cancer Research UK

Details of 34 fund-raising 10K races during Sept/Oct 2007

Events Diary & notice-board

Association of Running Clubs

Update on membership & benefits

File

SEAA

Latest AGM info.

File

 

Ridgeway Relay, 17th June

Compton Harriers finished the 89.3-mile race with an excellent placing of 13th out of 41 teams, in a total time of 11:25:41.  The team of ten was: Martin, Sus, Peter L, Kev, Sue, Andy, Pete H, Rich, Nigel and Lucy, with Dick and Mo providing support throughout.  Thanks to Martin for organising a very enjoyable and successful and team day out.

The original plan was that all the team would write a paragraph on their stage of the relay - thanks to those who have done so.  Not everyone has had time to do this yet, so I’ve decided to hold this feature over to the next issue, by which time I hope to have a full set of reports.

  

Brass Medal Weather! - The Grand Union Canal Race

Lucy

 

After all the excitement of tapering, meeting long-lost Brummie relatives and a long, hot night in an unpleasantly cambered mattress, my start of the 2007 GUCR was not quite as pleasant as hoped.  I felt somewhat more disconnected than usual, and even forgot to register before ‘passing through the wall’.  However I rationalised that I’d had exactly the same amount of sleep as for the FLM, and I felt great after that!  Starting on the ‘F’ in off, I and the other 74 runners ran through the grim, yet-to-be renovated architecture of the Birmingham canalside walk and (after a small detour!) found ourselves in a lovely shaded cutting that led all the way to the Catherine de Barnes checkpoint at 10.7 miles.  A quick swapping of refreshments for rubbish and I was off.  Although I had predicted a slow pace, my actual speed was even slower, probably because I was contemplating the next 2 days!

 

At Hatton locks (22 miles) I discovered my phone was not in my pocket, evidently dropped while taking a comfort stop (Martin found it later in my trouser pocket!).  I tried out my spare phone but found it didn’t work (I have since found it did work and I was pressing the wrong button!).  So phone-less and witless I continued to focus on the journey ahead.  Martin made it quite simple – he would say how many miles it would be till we met, would arrive there and give me 2 cups of tea and all the food I could eat.  In the meantime (predicting the mayhem that could otherwise ensue) he would wash and dry the utensils, repack and reorder the car, and later when it was raining he also dried every item before it went back in.  Until mid afternoon the weather was beautiful, with clear skies and a cool, fragrant breeze.  As I approached Braunston (46 miles) the rain came on and didn’t stop for 30 hours.

 

In view of the early dusk and miserable weather we had decided to kit me up for the night at Blisworth Tunnel (62 miles).  There was a good car park and plenty of space for Martin to set up the umbrella over the gas stove – funnelling the heat my way!  A complete change of clothes including a skiing thermal and plastic trousers (to go with my Goretex jacket) made me impervious to cold and I set off along the road above the tunnel feeling confident.  A distant marquee with celebratory sounds emanating reminded me we were not the only victims of the bank holiday weather.

 

Night fell over the next 8 miles, which I mostly walked, passing one other racer who nearly jumped out of his skin as I approached!  At Navigation bridge (70 miles) I saw Martin for the last time (11:20) before he put his head down for the night after his hard day’s work, and I said hello to Simon, who offered me use of his ‘cheating’ stick.  I turned it down since I was sure it would be a hindrance but since then I have decided it would have been very useful!  Also here I caught the words ‘ambulance is on its way…’ wafting in on the breeze from Dick, but Martin hustled me away, determined that I should ‘hear no evil’!  The occupant of the ambulance was taken to Milton Keynes hospital with severe sickness and ambulance-trolley failure but has since recovered.

 

Milton Keynes by night is not as bad as you might think and I had my pocket DAB radio for company.  So as I walked past the black waters with their thick layer of eerie mist I listened to an Inspector Morse mystery, ‘The wench must die’ about a woman in the Oxford of Victorian times who ends up in the canal…. !  However, the Bridge 99 checkpoint was very welcome when it came up at 84 miles.  By now (4 am) my knee had started to hurt so I took an ibuprofen (I took one every 2 hours for the rest of the race) and also put on another warm coat.  There were 2 other chaps leaving the checkpoint at the same time as me so this stopped me going too slow.  Pretty soon there were others, and at one point I found myself in a ‘crowd’ of about 7 strung out over several hundred yards.  The last few miles up to the Tring summit were interminable, with each new set of locks appearing to be the highest possible.  But finally we reached the Tring reservoirs, and saw dozens of herons and terns fishing, with some lively fish also in evidence in the clean waters of the canal.  The 100 mile checkpoint at Grand Junction Arms was a welcome sight indeed, especially as I had the pleasure of seeing Susanne as well as Martin.  A change of shoes, toe-protecting tape and waterproof socks, some Alpen, pasta and the use of a luxurious real toilet and washbasin made me feel like a new woman.  Martin promised to meet me at every possible stop-off and we were on our way.

 

‘Downhill all the way’ was my mantra as I strode off through Tring cutting, but 20-minute miles were the fastest my Garmin could report.  Nevertheless, with constant encouragement from other support crews as well as from Martin I was soon counting down the miles… 39…38 etc.  Berkhamsted was particularly green and pleasant and my spirits rose accordingly.  Between Boxmoor (108.5: 12:00 noon) and West Watford (115: 1:55 pm) I had my ‘fastest’ 6.5 miles, when the rain absolutely crashed down for 2 hours and seemed to give me added energy.  Martin cooked me up a treat of ‘Angus meatballs with potatoes in herbs and wine’ at West Watford and then it was only 5 miles to Springwell (120 miles; 3:45 pm) the 2nd-to-last checkpoint!  By the time I got there we were quite a crowd and I left with a small group who helped guide me through the route diversion.  By Cowley lock (127 miles; 6:15 pm) I changed out of my soaking wet skiing thermal and ‘waterproof’ socks - ‘only’ 18 miles left didn’t give me much time for blisters!  En route to Hamborough tavern I swear I saw an otter diving in the canal – given my reported hallucinations no-one will ever believe me though.

 

At Hamborough (133 miles; 8pm) I said hello to Henk (manning the checkpoint) and told him (perhaps too soon) that the race was a ‘piece of cake’.   Due to a gammy knee I could only walk but my energy levels were high and I caught up a few others, dolling out my last remaining ibuprofen to a fellow limping runner.  The cold headwind and rain increased steadily as darkness fell, giving sleep-deprived and slow-moving walkers a real risk of hypothermia.  Thankfully, Martin popped up at Piggery Bridge after a heroic navigational effort, and brought me a flask of tea, plastic trousers and his neck warmer.  With only a 10k to go there was no chance of failure, but where was the end?  Paddington was unrecognisable in the storm – nowhere else had we seen waves on the canal.  There were also the perplexing groups of trolls and crowds of tree-sprites that I’m sure are never there in daylight!  At least human company was limited to one gentleman asleep on his wheeled shopping bag and some under-dressed revellers crossing a bridge – no complicated encounters with cyclists or chemical merchants.

 

Little Venice (145 miles; 11:40 pm) came up after several false sightings, and I gratefully posed with my fantastic brass plaque – although at the time I couldn’t understand why Martin was taking a photo.  Surely he had already taken several!?  The ‘Carnopy’ proved an excellent resuscitation suite, but not as wonderful as the British Waterways toilets for a complete change of clothing.  I sat with Joan Clark (who arrived just after me) for a while, discussing the chances of us ever doing it again (Joan ‘never’, me ‘in 2009 maybe?’) and eventually decided to get off home.

 

I can’t thank Martin, Dick, Jan, Phil, Emily, Diccon, Hannah, Ross, Ian Clark and the rest of the gang enough for giving me the opportunity and means to run this race.  It has been the most memorable of any I’ve done before and I’m looking forward to helping out next year - it will be interesting to see the difference now I’ve been on the other side of the fence!

Chiltern Chase, 3rd June

Sus

 

Second year for this race and I must say it is worth coming back next year.  Absolutely stunning route with a mix of country roads, woods and tracks.  At the finish the barbecue was lit, the tea was brewing, and the first photos taken during the race were already printed and ready to be viewed.  The prizes were very useful if you like honey, a huge hamper for first lady and first man.  Hopefully next year though, we will see a female/male finish list.  Compton Harriers were presented by 3 runners, Ryan 41:02, Peter L 42:26 and Sus 44:33.  But most impressive was 1st Lady Belinda Tull in the time 38:55!  First man Paul Jegou 35:50.  383 runners finished the race, one of them was also an old Compton Harrier; Kim Pike who finished in 78:30.

Great Bedwyn 10K, 10th June

Kev

 

It was a glorious blooming hot day and me, the wife and the dog arrived early so we drove the course and got a good idea of what was in store.  I met Susanne before the race and we stayed together until the start, I moved further back, as it was my first race since I got injured so I was just planning on having fun rather than really pushing.  The race kicked off and went straight over the Kennet & Avon canal through the High Street and bared left and left again to come back over the canal.  From here there was a gradual climb, from 2-3 km it was a wooded section and the humidity was a killer.  The course ran out into the countryside and then at 4 km there was another slight climb about 500m long.  It was at this point that I picked up a guy who was running as fast as he could to get past me, then he would walk and I’d pass him, and then he would burst again past me etc.  I took on water at 5km and made up a few places as people stopped.  Now came the only real climb of the course up into the hills above Great Bedwyn.  I made up a few more places here and saw one lady stop at a marshal and puke up and give up.  It got really hard to breathe, there was no wind and it was so humid I could really feel my heart pounding.  Finally it levelled off and there was a long down back into the final km.  I made up about 5 places again and then I could hear Susanne screaming my name from the other side of the field as we did a lap to the finish.  I passed the speed up / slow down guy just before the finish which made my day. 

 

I ran 52:25 which is my second worst 10K time ever; winning time was 35:40 by Nathan Montague; first lady was Rachael Elliot of team Kennet with 39:49; and our very own superstar Susanne was third lady with a time of 44:23.

 

Lambourn 6K, 1st July

Sue

 

Ryan and I raced this pleasant local ‘fun run’.  Ryan paced himself sensibly all the way, forewarned about the long uphill this year.  He finished about 10th in 24:19, improving a bit on his 2006 time.  I struggled on the 1.5K off-road section which, this year, was far too muddy and rutted for my liking.  I finished about 15th, and 1st lady, but considerably slower than last year (25:46).  Race winner was Owain Bristow (White Horse Harriers / Cambridge University) who broke his own course record in less than perfect conditions (20:04) and had a lead of over a minute on a couple of good Newbury athletes (and a couple of good Compton Harriers too!).

 

South Downs Marathon, 16th June

Ryan did well to complete this tough multi-terrain event in 3:47, on a very wet summer day.

 

IAH-Compton Boundary Run & Walk, 28th June

Sue

 

The 8.03-mile (according to Andy’s Garmin) Boundary Run and Walk took place on a cool and overcast, but dry evening.  For the first time in several years, more runners (19) than walkers (15) took part.  Ryan led the runners as we turned up Cheap Street, but Matt was soon pushing ahead and opened up a gap.  However, upon reaching the hill up to the concrete road, Matt paid for his fast start and the chasing group (Andy, Peter L and me) passed him, as did Sus shortly afterwards.  At the bottom of Death Valley, we were welcomed at Ian Hope’s ‘water station’, and Mo was there too, taking photos.  Running along Greenhams Lane was heaven compared with what it could have been – short grass and no nettles.  Those of us who knew what it was like before felt very grateful to Dick for mowing it.  Andy and I continued to run together until the first metal gate – Andy hopped it, and I climbed it.  Ryan extended his lead, and crossed the line in 56:58, for a well-deserved win of the Boundary Race at his first attempt.  Andy took second spot, with me third.  Meanwhile, Peter L had taken a wrong turn in the last mile, and covered an extra 1.5 miles, so losing his fourth place.  Matt and Sus had a good race all the way.  Matt just edged ahead at the finish, but Sus was pleased to record a Boundary P.B.  A fast finish from Pete H saw him pull away from Dick in the final stages, both having had a good race.  Meanwhile, Peter L had met Freya, who’d also got a bit lost, and they finished together.  First non-Harrier to cross the line was Geoff Oldham, and Lucy, Tom, Amy and Phil followed in close succession.  One of the last finishers was Alsion Bowen, but she was really pleased top have knocked 8 minutes off her 2006 time.  The trophies were presented by Martin, and the barbecue rounded off a very successful evening.

 

Full results, and some photos, will soon be available on Compton Harriers website http://comptonharriers.org.uk/ .

 

Once again, I’d like to thank all those of you who gave up your evenings and days off to help with course clearing, route marking, and time-keeping.  It was very much appreciated.

  

Handicap Race

 

June’s Handicap event was raced over a new off-road route, thanks to a suggestion from Sus.  The start and finish were on the concrete road at ‘Superity’ with the route taking us down the IAH track, then along ‘the bumps’, over a gate, back up to the Ridgeway, then down the concrete road for a fast finish.  It worked very well, in terms of being traffic-free, and giving Jan a good view of the finishing runners.  We will therefore use this route for August’s handicap race (and maybe also October’s race, depending on the level of daylight).  I used the same start times as for our winter handicap route but, since this new route is slightly longer than the winter route, the handicaps favoured the faster runners, and I will have to think about some adjustments to make it fairer to all for the next race.

New member Peter L set a good pace all the way, gradually passing all those who’d started ahead of him.  Though Sue started only 10 seconds behind Peter and tracked him all the way, she couldn’t close the gap.  Despite turning his ankle in a pothole (while admiring the view from the top of the concrete road!) Peter hung on to win the trophy.  Dick took a good third place, ahead of Pete.  Martin in 5th, was nursing an injury, and Sus in 6th had a bad ‘stitch’, so both were forced to slow down in the later stages.  New member Amy set a good standard for the next race and passed Phil who is making a gradual return from injury.  Lucy completed the field, doing well to keep up a good pace in her first ‘race’ since her canal challenge.

 

Well done Peter, and thanks to Jan for timing.  There will be no Handicap Race in July.  The next one is scheduled for Thursday 9th August.

 

Results on the next page.

Position

Name

Start time

Finish time

Actual time

1

Peter L

3:40

16:59

13:19

2

Sue

3:50

17:03

13:13

3

Dick

3:30

17:44

14:14

4

Pete H

2:47

18:02

15:15

5

Martin

4:48

18:40

13:52

6

Sus

3:03

18:49

15:46

7

Amy

2:21

19:01

16:40

8

Phil

0:53

19:18

18:25

9

Lucy

2:23

20:01

17:40

  

The Handicap Championship table shows that 19 members have now taken part in at least one Handicap Race during 2007 – this must be a record!  Sue and Pete H appear to be opening up a gap at the top of the leader-board mainly because they are the only people to have taken part in all five races to date.  They can still be caught! - at the end of the nine-race series, only your best seven scores will count so nothing will be certain until the last race is over.

  

 Pos.

Name

Race points

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

Race 5

Race 6

Race 7

Race 8

Race 9

Total

1

Sue

4

5

2

5

6

-

-

-

-

22

2

Pete H

5

4

4

3

4

-

-

-

-

20

3

Kev

7

6

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

14

4=

Rich

-

-

7

6

-

-

-

-

-

13

4=

Mo

-

-

6

7

-

-

-

-

-

13

6=

Lucy

6

-

1

1

1

-

-

-

-

9

6=

Susanne

-

2

1

4

2

-

-

-

-

9

8

Martin

3

-

1

1

3

-

-

-

-

8

9=

Ryan

-

7

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

7

9=

Peter L

-

-

-

-

7

-

-

-

-

7

11=

Freya

-

1

3

2

-

-

-

-

-

6

11=

Dick

-

-

1

-

5

-

-

-

-

6

13

Kirsty

-

-

5

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

14

Matt S

-

3

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

15=

Andy

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

15=

Phil

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

1

15=

Amy

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

1

15=

Don

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

15=

Tom

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

 

  

Website update… http://www.comptonharriers.org.uk

Mo

 

Following the resounding success of Compton Harriers Interactive with a total of 5 members (2 of them being me), I thought it might be a good idea to concentrate more on the features of the main website this month … in particular the Event Finder.

 

It just so happened that as I was checking through various links to see if they all worked, I happened to ‘rediscover’ some of the sites I have often used in the past to find events to feature in the monthly diary. One of the sites (Timeoutdoors) reminded me just what a useful resource it has become.  I did feature this site as a link of the month back in the year 2000 and the comments I made in 2003 on our website were picked up by Timeoutdoors and still feature to this day on their website.  My original comments are as shown below in italics and they still apply … I have also added a few more lines to bring my comments right up-to-date.  My comments and recommendations on the various other event sites follow below: -

 

Timeoutdoors (www.timeoutdoors.com )

 

This is probably the best site for seeking out the events you are interested in.  Comprehensive search facilities enable the dedicated runner to search by month, distance, by text search and by country.  Categories covered are road, trail, x-country, fell and track.  Timeoutdoors has online entry for many events also and race organisers can add details of their races on the site.  Highly recommended. 

 

The site covers just about any outside activity you can think of;  e.g. walking, cycling, paddling, mountain climbing, triathlon and adventure sports to name but a few.  The search facilities are very comprehensive and it is very easy to locate local clubs, shops and sports/equipment centres. Also full of very useful advice and guides.

 

RunningDiary (www.runningdiary.co.uk )

 

This is also another excellent site for finding suitable event quickly.  The site lists forthcoming events and enables the visitor to search by race length, type, region and date.  Should you decide to register, there is a "race alert" feature which will email you details of races which match your personal profile.  Race organisers can also add their events.  Recommended.

 

RunnersWorld (www.runnersworld.co.uk )

 

Lists events by date, distance and county.  There is also a facility for race organisers to add events.  Also has a very comprehensive event search facility and on-line entry for most races. The site also features a comprehensive archive of articles on every aspect of running, but to access all of these you need to become a subscriber in addition to being a website member. Recommended.

 

RunnersWeb (www.runnersweb.com )

 

Covers duathlon and triathlon as well as running events. The site has a vast number of articles and features crammed into the home page layout with a number of race advert boxes continually changing with ‘flash’ animation.  I personally find it all a bit too flash and have difficulty in focussing on any particular area of interest, but this could be age affliction I suppose!  Offers a tremendous amount of information if you have the time to browse.  Recommended – a good challenge!

 

SportsFitness (www.sports-fitness.com )

 

Another site that promotes duathlon, triathlon and running events together with a very useful event search facility.  Loads of articles to browse and an on-line clothing and equipment store to add to the attraction.

Recommended.

 

All the above can be accessed directly from our website Event Finder and also by clicking on the above links on the on-line version of the Harriers Herald.

 

(Mo – June 2007)

 

Events Diary: Most entry forms can be downloaded from race websites; others are likely to be on the club notice board.

 

 

Sat 07 Jul

THE COMPTON CANTER, 2:00pm Compton recreation ground

~6 miles

http://www.comptonharriers.org.uk

Sat 14 Jul

THE DEVILS CHIMNEY CHASE, 6.00pm Everest Rd, Cheltenham

~10k

http://www.almostathletes.org.uk

Sun 15 Jul

CRAWLEY 10K (multi-terrain), 10:00am, K2 Leisure Cntre, Crawley

10k

http://www.stch.org.uk

ST DOMINICS HAMBLEDON RUN, 10:30am, Godalming

6 miles

See club noticeboard

SUMMER 10K ROAD RACE & 3K FR, 11.00am, Tadley, Hants

10k

http://www.hants.org.uk/tadleyrunners

LUMPY BUMPY 10M TRAIL, 10.00am, Milton Lilbourne VH

10 miles

http://www.grassrootsevents.co.uk

Sun 22 Jul

THAMES RUN, 11:30am Kinecroft, Wallingford

~13k

http://www.thamesrun.co.uk

Sun 29 Jul

THAMES TOWPATH ˝ Mthn, 10.00am, Marlow Rugby Club, Marlow

13.1 miles

http://www.purplepatchrunning.com

Wed 01 Aug

PEWSEY MID WEEK 5, Pewsey School, Wilcot Rd., Pewsey

5 miles

http://www.pewseyvalerunningclub.com

Sun 05 Aug

LAMBOURN CARNIVAL  5 & 3m FR, 10.30am, Lambourn

5 miles

See club notice board

EAS CASTLE COMBE 10K, Race Circuit, Nr Chippenham

10k

http://www.dbmax.co.uk

Sun 12 Aug

SALISBURY 5-4-3-2-1 TRAIL MARATHON, 9.30am, Fire Station

Various

http://salisburyfirestation.info

BESRBROOK JOGGERS 10K, 10.00am, Aylesbury Rugby Club

10k

http://www.bearbrookjoggers.co.uk

Sun 26 Aug

PEWSEY ˝ MTHN, 10.30am, Pewsey School, Wilcot Rd., Pewsey

13.1 miles

http://www.pewseyvalerunningclub.com

Sat 01 Sep

OVERTON 5M ROAD RACE & FR, 3.00pm, Overton, Hants

5 miles

http://www.overtonharriers.org.uk

Sun 09 Sep

PEASEMORE FESTIVAL 5 M, 10.30am, Peasemore, Berks

5 miles

See club notice board

THE GRIZZLY, 10.30AM, Seaton, Devon

~18miles

ENTRIES CLOSED

Sun 16 Sep

THE BONESHAKER, 10:30am Ardington Sports Club

5k,20k,5k

www.bone-shaker.co.uk

Sat 29 Sep

WINDSOR 8K, 10.00, Madeira Drive, Windsor Gt Park

10k

http://www.running4women.com

Sun 30 Sep

ADP 10K M-T RACE, 10.30am , Highclere Castle

10k

http://www.newburyac.org.uk

Sun 07 Oct

CRICKLADE 10K, ˝ MTHN & FR, 10:30am Cricklade, Nr Swindon

10k,13.1m

http://www.crickladefunrun.co.uk

Sun 14 Oct

AUTUMN 10M ROAD RACE, 10.00am, Tadley, Hants

10 miles

http://www.hants.org.uk/tadleyrunners

LUTON NORTH ROTARY CHALLENGE ˝ MTHN & 10.3K. TRAIL RACES, + 5K FUN RUN,.10.3k-10am., Half Marathon- 10.45am. 5k. Fun Run- 9.40am. Regional Sports Centre, Stopsley, Luton

13.1miles

10.3k

5k

See club notice board

 

Sun 28 Oct

BEACHY HEAD MARATHON, 9.00am, St Bede's School,  Eastbourne

26.2 miles

http://www.beachyheadmarathon.org.uk

Sun 09 Dec

WINTER 5.3 M CROSS COUNTRY, 11.00am, Tadley, Hants

5.3 miles

http://www.hants.org.uk/tadleyrunners

 

(Mo – July 2007)