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THE HARRIERS HERALD

No. 145, March 2005

 

Editorial

Welcome to March’s Harriers Herald.  This month is a busy one for the Harriers, with the Tenth Compton Downland Challenge taking place on Saturday 19th.  If you are available to help on either race-day, or the Friday or Sunday, Dick would be very pleased to hear from you.

We begin with the usual Thursday night schedules and update of Secretary’s correspondence received.  Mo’s Website contribution this month features articles on ‘leg strength’ and ‘lactate threshold’, and his recommended race Fixtures list takes us up to the end of May.

Eight Harriers are taking part in the Grizzly on March 13th, and we have been racing regularly in our build up to this event.  There are results and short reports for the Longleat 10K, Oxford Mail Cross-Country, Wokingham Half Marathon, Dursley Dozen, Goring 10K and the Handicap Race.  Thanks to Susanne, Pete and Mo for this month’s contributions.

Sue

 

Thursday night schedule for March

Thurs    3rd                    Sue to lead

Thurs    10th                   Handicap Race

Thurs    17th                   ) Compton Challenge Route marking

Thurs    24th                   ) and collection of route markers?

Thurs    31st                   Martin to lead

 

Thursday night schedule for April

Thurs    7th                    Dick to lead

Thurs    14th                   Vicky to lead

Thurs    21st                   Handicap Race            

Thurs    28th                   Susanne to lead

 

Correspondence received by Secretary, February 2005

            Abbreviations:  BCAA = Berkshire County Athletic Association; SEAA = South of England Athletic Association; AAA = Amateur Athletic Association of England; UKA = UK Athletics

 

Correspondence received

Sender

Subject matter

Action

UKA

National Fixtures 2005

File

SEAA

Information Update #85; Liability Insurance for affiliated clubs; Road Relay Champs

File

Marathon Committee

Entry forms: Bungay Black Dog Mara. & Half Mara.

To Mo & notice-board

UKA

2004 Annual Review; Anti-doping fact-sheet; Annual Congress preliminary info.; Inhaler registration forms

Pass round / file

UKA

UKA 2005 calendar

Notice-board

City of Lincoln Council

Entry forms: City of Lincoln 10K

To Mo & notice-board

AAA

2004 Annual Report & Accounts; Voting forms for AAA AGM; update on ‘New England Athletics’

File

Tanni Grey-Thompson

Looking for London Marathon competitors to run for ‘Team Tanni’ (getting disadvantaged young people into sport)

File

Tim Gravina

Entry forms: Marlborough Downs Challenge

To Mo & notice-board

 

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

Mo

 

My offering this month will be of interest should you wish to improve your times over longer distances: -

 

Strong Legs will improve your long distance times

Many runners assume that because they run, they don’t need to do leg-strengthening exercises. This isn’t necessarily true. A specific weight programme targeting your legs could reap a huge race dividend, particularly over longer distances. If you run a marathon in 3:30, for example, at a rate of 180 steps a minute, during the entire race you will take 37,800 steps. Stronger leg muscles allow you to spend less time on the ground with each foot-strike and increase your stride length.

A reduction of just 0.02 of a second in the time on the ground per foot-strike translates into running a marathon a staggering 12 minutes 36 seconds faster. And if the same improvement in leg-muscle power helps to improve your stride length by just half an inch, you’ll gain almost 500m, which could be another two minutes off your time.

Doing strengthening exercises twice a week is the best way to build leg power. Try squats, leg extensions, thigh curls (for the hamstrings and buttocks), leg presses, toe raises and heel raises. These will also help to reduce your risk of injury by fortifying your joints and protecting your legs from the repetitive pounding of training.

If you are looking for a non-weight-based programme to build leg strength, head for the hills. Hill intervals are also an effective way to build efficient and powerful leg muscles. Find a hill that is 75-100m from bottom to top and run up at an intensity slightly harder than 5K race pace. Start with seven or eight intervals, each followed by an easy jog back to the bottom of the hill.

Don’t just hammer out the miles on roads or pavements. By training off-road on trails or sand, your legs will work harder to keep you moving, and you’ll put less stress on joints. You can even include races on different surfaces in your training to keep you focused on the long-term goal.

 

Improve Your Lactate Threshold Pace (LTP)

Your lactate threshold pace (LTP) is the running pace above which amounts of lactic acid begin to accumulate in the blood. Scientists believe that this leads to increased fatigue during running. If you can improve your LTP, you’ll get faster – it’s that simple. A six per cent improvement in LTP – which should be fairly easy if you don’t currently focus on this kind of training – will produce a nine-minute improvement on a 3:30 marathon time.

You can use two special sessions to increase your LTP: run 10-minute intervals at your current 10K pace (do two or three intervals with five-minute recoveries), or do a continuous 25-minute tempo run at a pace that’s 12-15 seconds per mile slower than your usual 10K race pace

 

(Both articles are featured on the Runners World website, http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?UAN=1486  ).

 

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

 

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

Ladies Start time: 11:00 a.m.; Men’s Start time: 11:45 a.m.  http://www.geocities.com/oxmailxc

 

·   Sunday 13th March 2005 – THE GRIZZLY – Seaton, Devon  http://www.axevalleyrunners.org.uk

 

·   Saturday 19th March 2005 – COMPTON DOWNLAND CHALLENGE 40 – 0900hrs Downs School  Compton http://comptonharriers.cjb.net

 

·   Sunday 20th March 2005 – COMBE GIBBET TO OVERTON 16 – 1400hrs http://www.overtonharriers.org.uk

 

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

 

·   Sunday 3rd April 2005 – THE 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 2005 – CHEDWORTH 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 17th April 2005 – THE 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

 

·    Saturday 21st May 2005 – MARLBOROUGH 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 - Mar 2005)

 

Longleat 10K, Sunday 6th February

Susanne

 

I initially decided to do this race so Elo, as a spectator, would have a chance to visit the castle while I was away.  But the route was made up of 3 laps (first and third the same) which each time ended by the castle so he never managed to see it due to excitement.

When we arrived, everything was just covered in fog - so much for the beautiful scenery.  But it did clear.  We were all provided with a chip.  I have never tried that before, so when I did my warming up and came to the start I was not sure if I was allowed to cross it, supposedly my time would start ticking so I thought best not to.  Off we went at 10:00.  A lovely uphill start with equal downhill at the end of the lap. Thinking of what Martin once taught me I decided to also push hard downhill and did manage to reel in a couple off runners.  At one point approximately 1 K from the finish on a downhill stretch when I had a little stomach pain, a fellow runner must have spotted this because he advised me to lean more forward and he kindly offered to guide me home since the last bit was all downhill.  That is what I call a real sportsman, he ran next to me the last few hundred meters and kindly let me finish before him – a real gentleman.  After the finish we shook hands and he complimented me for my fast finish - very nice man indeed!  I met up with Elo again had a quick change of clothes and we went for the nearest pub for a lunch.  All in all a lovely day.

 

Fastest man finished in 33:37:85            Philip Parry, Bristol West AC

Fastest lady finished in 39:07:00            Sian Monahan, Bristol West AC

I managed 44:42:05 (88/626)

 

Susanne

 

Oxford Mail Cross-Country Races, Sunday 6th February

Sue F

 

            The fourth Oxford Mail cross-country race took place at the scenic venue of Cirencester Park.  The race route started on flat, open park land before entering the woods to follow muddy tracks down to the valley bottom.  Each lap finished with a steep climb back up to the start area.  While the women ran two laps, the men ran three.  The Cirencester ladies were in their element on home territory, and took first (24:07), second, and third places.  Our Team Kennet ladies A team did very well this time (3rd out of 26 teams) boosted by a good performance from Marie, who had only been persuaded to run on the previous evening.  The individual placings were: 10th (Sue F, 27:27), 17th (Marie, 30:04), 21st (Vicky, 30:23), 54th, 60th (Yvonne, 36:00).

The men’s race was won by William Joyce in 33:47. Team Kennet placed an excellent 5th out of 20 teams in Division 2, and the individual placings were: -

31st (Tom Munt, 37:24), 59th (Nick, 40:04), 64th (Iain, 40:22), 82nd, 127th (Dick, 45:32), 165th, 166th, 170th (Pete, 50:39), 176th, 177th, 180th, 189th 

The final race of the series takes place at Horspath (outskirts of Oxford) this Sunday (6th March).

The race times are altered on this occasion to allow the organisers more time to compile the men’s results for the final presentation: Men 11:10, Ladies 12:00.

 

Wokingham Half Marathon, Sunday 13th February

Pete

                  The weather for the Wokingham Half Marathon on Sunday 13th February was more akin to that found in Arctic regions than Berkshire, with heavy rain, sleet and a bitingly cold wind preceding the start.  So cold in fact that I wore a tracksuit until minutes before the start.  As 10am approached the PA announcer informed us there were no reasons to delay the start!  A couple of years back the race was cancelled due to subsidence on the course.  In view of the conditions few would have complained if the race had been called-off.

                 

                  The strong winds prevented the erection of a start / finish banner and together with the absence of a painted start line this caused some confusion. The announcer requested competitors walk up to the start point, presumably those at the front knew what he meant, and added that the race would commence upon the sound of a claxon.  As walking pace turned to jogging pace several competitors were asking, "have we started?"  When it was clear we had it was too late to accurately set our stopwatches.

                 

                  The course itself was flat with the only inclines being the approaches to the four bridges across motorways that we had to negotiate.  That said the course was entirely rural with the lack of buildings, and often trees, giving the wind the opportunity to do its worst.  On the positive side there was no precipitation during or after the race.

                 

                  I assumed that I must have set-off too fast for I pulled away from Vicky at the 2 mile point. Amazingly she looked fresher at the 10 mile point when she passed me and disappeared into the distance.

                 

                  At around three miles a runner who had presumably decided to pull out came past in the opposite direction.  Nothing unusual about that you may think - except for the fact that he was running considerably faster than any of the runners around me!

                 

                  The rest of the race was fairly uneventful with the pretty scenery providing a pleasant backdrop. The sun came out toward the finish but its rays reflecting off the wet roads only served to dazzle competitors running southbound along the accurately named Straight Mile.

                 

                  An international dimension was provided by the winner, Dai Roberts, who came from the other side of the Severn Bridge.  His winning time of 1 hour 12 minutes 50 seconds was seven minutes outside the course record which demonstrated the effect of the wind.  The first lady clocked 1:20:14 (Alice Braham) with Reading AC picking up both team prizes.  Vicky finished in 1:39:37 (496th), myself in 1:40:39 (529th) and Yvonne in 1:58:52 (1,160th).  The final finisher clocked 3:15 in 1,523rd place.

 

Dursley Dozen 12M, Sunday 20th February

Sue F

 

Lucy, Martin, Mo and I took part in this year’s Dursley Dozen event.  It was a pretty chilly day, but the clear skies and sunshine made for pleasant running weather, with some excellent views.  The course was the same as usual, but made a bit easier because there was much less sticky mud.  Nevertheless, we still had to contend with long and steep climbs in the first mile and at halfway, and the ‘rope-climb’ at ten miles.  Dick, having run 28 miles of the Thames Meander the previous day, was supporting this time.  He and Jan managed to place themselves close to the top of the hills, to cheer us on when we needed it most, and to take photographs when we needed it least.

Martin was the first Harrier to finish, with an excellent 25th place, but feeling a bit perturbed that Newbury’s Dave Wright was ahead of him again.  I was pleased to run my fastest recent Dursley time, despite having a ‘poo stop’ at 3 miles, while Lucy annihilated her 2004 time by over 15 minutes.  Mo’s goal was to finish in less than 150 minutes, having been unwell for over a month, and this he achieved admirably with half a minute to spare.  We gathered in ‘The Old Spot’ pub to reminisce on a good morning’s efforts.

 

The official race results were:

1st overall                77:00                Garry Hughes (Dursley & District AC)

1st lady (20th)           86:47                Ruth Pickvance (Les Croupiers AC)

Last finisher            172:53               Roy Lewis (Abingdon Amblers)

Martin                    88:21                25th

Sue                         99:23                100th

Lucy                       114:45               239th

Mo                         149:25               374th

 

Goring 10K, Sunday 27th February

Sue F

 

Sometime in the week preceding race day, the organisers decided to run the race in the reverse direction compared with previous years.  None of the competitors seemed to know why, but it may have been the fact that there were 1200 entrants this year and it was thought better to spread out the runners on the wider roads in the first 2K.  The general consensus was that the route was ‘easier’ this way round: the big hill and the snow shower were out of the way by 3K and, from 5K onwards, the wind was behind and the route was mainly flat.

Five Compton Harriers took part with good results all round.  I was second lady beating my previous Goring P.B. by 20 seconds, while Susanne had an excellent run to beat her all-time 10K P.B. by almost a minute and, we think, finished as fourth lady.  Lucy, with Martin pace-making on this occasion, ran very well to be two minutes quicker than in 2004.  Mo and my brother-in-law, Lincoln, ran the first 3K together until Mo’s breathing became troublesome.  However, he battled through this bad patch and did well to complete the tough course in just over the hour.  We were all rewarded at the end with a goody bag containing a medal, carbo drinks, and socks or sports bags for the lucky ones.  The race itself was very well organised, with good marshalling, kilometre markers, water station and friendly atmosphere.  However, there was a little room for improvement at the start (only those at the very front seemed to hear the starter) and with the presentation, which did not happen until almost 1 o’clock (the winners finished at 11:30) and many had gone home because it was so cold.  Thanks to Martin, Lucy and Mo who all hung around with Susanne and me, in the false hope that we may have won something in the ladies event.  At least they managed to get half price burgers!

 

The official results are not yet available but, according to our own watches, the results were:

 

Sue F                      39:53      2nd lady

Susanne                  43:03      4th lady ?

Lucy & Martin     ~46:45

Mo                         63:32


Handicap Race (Village Lap)

Sue

 

             February’s Handicap Race was held on a cool, still evening, with some moonlight, making for good running conditions.  Nine runners participated, and the good conditions were reflected in good performances.  Yvonne, having recorded a half-marathon P.B. just a few days previously, stormed to a 16-second victory to smash her handicap record.  Pete missed out on a hat trick of victories, but continued his good form to take second spot.  The next six of us finished in close succession, with me taking third ahead of Tom.  Susanne and Lucy were each close to their own records, while Dick ran his fastest time of the season, and Martin ran away with the evening’s fastest time.  Mo did well to complete the race, just getting back into training following a double cold and chest infection.  Well done Yvonne and thanks again to Jan for timing.  March’s handicap race is scheduled for Thursday 10th.

 

After five races in the championship series, it’s a close competition between Pete, Dick and me.  However, because only the best five scores count towards each person’s total, Dick and Pete both need to run the last race and have the chance to considerably boost their scores above mine.  Tom and Lucy are also in with a shout if they score well in the last race.  There are prizes for the top three, so the race is on……….

 

 

Pos

Name

Start time

Finish time

Actual time

Handicap Beaten?

1

Yvonne

1:14

16:28

15:14

-0:32

2

Pete

3:15

16:44

13:29

-0:16

3

Sue

5:15

16:50

11:35

-0:10

4

Tom

1:27

16:52

15:25

-0:08

5

Susanne

4:07

16:57

12:50

-0:03

6

Lucy

3:12

17:04

13:52

+0:04

7

Dick

4:09

17:08

12:59

+0:08

8

Martin

5:56

17:09

11:13

+0:09

9

Mo

0:14

19:21

19:07

-

 

 Position

Name

Race points

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

Race 5

Race 6

Total

1

Pete

-

3

7

7

6

-

23

2

Sue

5

5

2

5

5

-

22

3

Dick

7

7

6

-

1

-

21

4

Tom

3

1

1

6

4

-

15

5

Lucy

4

-

4

4

2

-

14

6=

Yvonne

1

-

-

3

7

-

11

6=

Marie

-

6

5

-

-

-

11

8

Susanne

-

4

1

-

3

-

8

9

Mo

1

2

3

-

1

-

7

10

Vicky

6

-

-

-

-

-

6

11

Martin

2

-

-

-

1

-

3