Click Harriers Hare to enter main site


No. 165, November 2006



Welcome to November’s Harriers Herald.  Thursday night schedules for November and December are followed by reminders bout the club’s forthcoming AGM, the Christmas Meal, and Susanne’s Bike Challenge.  Then there’s Correspondence received, a note about Affiliation to ‘England Athletics’ and a reminder about the Oxford Mail cross-country series.  Kirsty’s Runner’s Recipe series returns this month with a tasty seasonal soup.  The Harriers have had some fantastic performances recently: Lucy reports on Caesar’s Camp 50M race and the Candleford Canter, I report on the Trail of Trials and there are brief results for the Cardiff Half, Blenheim 10K, Abingdon Marathon and October’s Handicap Race.  Mo’s Website Update features a new site for runners, a local mountain bike shop, and the benefits of using GPS and HRM gadgets.  Finally, Mo’s Events Diary covers plenty of events to keep you busy Christmas and beyond.  Thanks to Mo, Kirsty and Lucy for their contributions to this issue.



Copy date for December’s Harriers Herald: Wednesday 29th November


·        Compton Harriers AGM

The club’s AGM is scheduled for Thursday 30th November, and will take place after the usual club run, probably in The Pickled Pig Bar.  If you would like to raise any issues, please let Martin, our Chairman, know ASAP and he will include them in the agenda.  New nominations for Club officers (Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary) are always welcome – again, please contact Martin if you are interested.  Current officers should prepare a short report for the AGM.

·        Christmas meal/party

Thanks to Pete for ‘volunteering’ to organise this year’s Christmas Party.  The likely venue is either The Red Lion in Upper Basildon, or The White Hart at Hampstead Norreys, and the likely date is Friday 15th December (evening).  All to be confirmed.

·        Susanne's Bike Challenge (See September's HH for full details)

As far as I know, Mo and I are the only members to have attempted the Bike Challenge so far.  The target for you to aim at is 1:16:00, so don’t forget to give it a go.



Thursday night schedule for November

Weds   1st                    Dick to lead

Thurs    9th                    Martin to lead  

Thurs    16th                  Handicap Race

Thurs    23rd                  Kirsty to lead

Thurs    30th                  Andy to lead, followed by Compton Harriers AGM


Thursday night schedule for December

Thurs    7th                    Lucy to lead

Thurs    14th                  Handicap Race

Thurs    21st                  ) To be decided, depending on level of interest             

Thurs    28th                  ) To be decided, depending on level of interest


Correspondence received


Subject matter


Berks County AA

Notice of AGM, including talk by David Moorecroft (20-11-06, at Bracknell)

Ask me for more details if you’re interested in attending


Info. update #102, Athletics Development Update, SEAA cross-country champs prospectus



Six copies of ‘Inspire’ (UK Athletics’ magazine)

Pass round


Entry forms for Berks County cross-country champs   (17-12-06, Maidenhead)

Pass round (you can only  participate if you reside in, or were born in, Berkshire)


Annual Congress & Awards Dinner


Nirvana Europe

2006/2007 European Road Running Tours

Notice board


Six copies of ‘The Power of Ten’ (“Imagine playing your part in transforming athletics as we look toward the 2012 Olympics”)

Pass round

England Athletics

Affiliation of Clubs & Athletes to England Athletics

(See below for more details)

To be discussed before or at AGM




Affiliation to England Athletics


I have received a letter from England Athletics regarding ‘Affiliation of Clubs, Athletes, and Associations to England Athletics Ltd. from 1st April 07 to 31st March 08’.  This is something we need to discuss as a club, so I’ve summarised the main points below to initiate some discussion.


On 1st April 2006, England Athletics Ltd. became the new governing and delivery body for athletics in England.  Until now, clubs have been required to affiliate to their County Athletic Association (Berks CAA in our case) and to their Territorial Athletic Association (South England AA in our case).  From April 2007, clubs are advised to affiliate to England Athletics instead of their Territorial Association since ‘Clubs choosing to affiliate to their Territorial Association after 1st April 2007 will only benefit from any services or support which these organisations may offer.  This will not in itself create eligibility to compete under the rules of the sport, which may only be gained by affiliation to England Athletics’.  Other benefits of affiliation to England Athletics include insurance cover for club coaches and officials, access to funding for club development.


The fee for a club’s affiliation to South England AA depended on the size of the club.  As a club with fewer than 25 members, we paid £60 per annum.  The annual affiliation fee to England Athletics will be £50 for all clubs, regardless of size.  This sounds like a £10 annual saving for our club, but there is a catch…..  England Athletics will also be imposing an additional ‘athlete registration fee’: £3 for each competing athlete from 1st April 2007 to 31st March 2008 (which will rise to £5 per annum per competing athlete from 1st April 2008).  Registration of athletes will offer some benefits to the athletes (but no information given on this) and will allow England Athletics to assess growth and success in our sport.


I assume all members who compete for Compton Harriers first claim will need to be registered (presumably you will need to write your registration number on race entry forms in order to avoid the unaffiliated levy).  Mo and I have been thinking about this athlete registration fee.  It would be nice if the club could cover the costs, but can we afford this?  We could be paying an additional 20 x £3 next year, then 20 x £5 thereafter.  We have discussed the possibility that, if the Compton Challenge funds are moved to a high interest bank account, then we could pay these athlete registration fees from the interest.  Just an idea…..any other suggestions welcome.



Oxford Mail cross-country league 2006 – 2007



For those who registered for the Oxford Mail cross-country league, the first race is on Sunday 5th November at Ascott-Under-Wychwood, near(ish) to Blenheim.  The ladies race (~3 miles) starts at 11:10 am, and the mens race (~6 miles) at 11:40 am (races for juniors, under-15s and under-13s are held before these senior races).  The races are run on a horse trial course and, although it doesn’t involve any jumps, there is a water splash, plenty of mud and a tough hill.  More details of the venue can be found at  (note the new web address, though you can still get there by the one I gave in last month’s HH).


For anyone who hasn’t taken part before, we compete in this league with Team Kennet running club under the banner of Team Kennet.  Most teams have a club tent, pitched near the start, as a HQ and somewhere for team members to leave their kit while running.  Since I e-mailed you about this, Nick has told me that their tent is broken, but they will still have an easy-to-find base near the start.  Look out for people wearing Team Kennet running vests (yellow, with blue trim round arms and neck).  You will need to wear a Team Kennet vest and a race number, both of which can be collected from Team Kennet’s Nick Bull.  Aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before your race to get kitted out, have a warm-up, check out the start and finish, and find a toilet (bush)!



Runners Recipe No. 4: Pumpkin Soup



This is a recipe to suit the season and something you can have after a cold run or if you have been standing round a bonfire for a few hours.


You will need:


2.5 cups (625ml) water

1kg Pumpkin, seeded, chopped coarsely

1 large brown onion (200g), chopped coarsely

2 medium tomatoes (300g), seeded, chopped coarsely

4cm piece fresh ginger (20g), grated

1 cup (250ml) chicken stock

150ml can light evaporated milk


1. Place the water, pumpkin, onion, tomato, ginger & stock into a large pan; bring to the boil.

2. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for about 20 mins or until pumpkin is tender.

3. Cool soup mixture for 5 mins before blending or processing, in batches, until smooth.

4. Pour each blended batch of soup into a large jug while you blend the remainder.

5. Return all of the soup mixture into the same pan.

6. Stir in milk; stir over heat (without boiling) until soup is heated through.


Serves 4

Per serving: 1.3g Fat, 499Kj (119 cal)


Enjoy your soup! It’s lovely with fresh chunky bread.

Caesar’s camp 50 and 100 mile races, 7th October



When Henk van der Beek, the 3rd placed runner in the GUCR 145, announced he was organising a new hundred mile race this year I decided it was too good an opportunity to miss.  Even better, it was in 10-mile laps, completely off road, and with a 50-mile option for the ultra-curious underachiever like me.  After paying my £27.50 entry fee I realised that the venue was that used for a popular machismo-fest called the ‘Grim’ 8, but didn’t fret too much, Aldershot being located in Surrey rather than the Karakorum range in Pakistan.


Caesar’s camp turned out to be about 3 square miles of partly forested hills with a high-point of 177 metres.  Dick, Jan, Phil Gadd and the Snail were offering their services for the entire race, and were kept very busy, course marking, lap-counting, feed-station manning, equipping the first-aid tent with Dick’s generator and shopping for more Jaffa cakes -  unfortunately Jan’s carefully prepared 4ft pile of duvets for their anticipated slack period went unused.  Many of the ultra regulars were also present, either to run or support, so there was a nice atmosphere.


Soon after the race started we tackled the first of about 5 steep climbs, which most of us walked instead of ran.  The route progressed through pleasant woodland paths and recently deforested areas, with the occasional stunning view North, over distant towns and countryside.  A slight deviation from the arrowed route meant that several runners missed two miles from the first 10, but from the second lap onwards most of us followed the prescribed course.  Halfway round the loop was a second feed station manned by the Blackwater Valley runners, who kept us fed with boiled potatoes and other delicacies.  All the helpers were extremely kind and sympathetic, although not one expressed the wish to be running with us!


My race plan was to try and run the first four laps in daylight (the race started at mid-day) leaving only one by torchlight.  I was careful to carry the torch for lap 4 though, which was a good idea since the woods became very dark, and there was a narrow section beside a deep ditch later in the lap!  On my fifth and final lap the turning points were marked by fluorescent light sticks, which were, in a way, easier to follow than the signs in daylight.  A momentary loss of concentration early in the lap led to me tripping over a stump and breaking my glasses (mended later with superglue), but otherwise the only problem of darkness was the illusion of greater speed – not much of a problem, since at least I felt I was going faster!


Obviously I ended the race in better spirits than the folks who were staying for the 100 miles, but I couldn’t quite muster up any feelings of guilt.  They were brave souls and I take my hat off to them, is all I can say!  This goes also for the helpers and support crews – slightly less work involved than a point-to-point but still no picnic.


I finished my 48 miles in 9:59 hours, in 14th place out of 24 if you count everyone who stopped after 5 laps.   Fastest was Joe Green in 6:45 and the slowest finished in 17:13.  The 1st 100 miler out of 8 was Matthew Hobson in 19:09 and the last finisher was also 1st lady, Fiona Cameron in 28:53.


This was an excellent way to combine distance and hill training in a controlled environment, with full support at short intervals.  The drawback of repetitiveness was not too bad if you only ran 5 laps, and to have run all 10 laps on the terrain would be a great achievement, and well worth the inevitable boredom.


Candleford Canter, 29th October



The Candleford Canter is a 10k in Fringford, Oxfordshire, and runs through the ‘villages and hamlets made famous by Flora Thompson in the book “Larkrise to Candleford”’.  It was my first women-only race (if you don’t count the Oxford Mail cross country series, where ‘no-tails’ have their own, shorter race), so I was interested to see how it would differ from mixed events.  There were approximately 100 entrants on an unseasonably sunny day, and I decided to start at the front of the pack, since I usually end up as 13th lady in local 10ks.  The first difference I noticed was how slow the start was, with the leader (Tracy Galbraith) not more than 5 yards in front of me for the first downhill.  Nature soon rectified itself however - everyone eventually strung out and I assumed 8th position.


The route was just as advertised, through almost traffic free villages, with a diversion along grass and cinder tracks.  The directions and marshalling were conspicuously manned by the male members of Alchester running club – their ladyfolk presumably getting a chance to run.  Equally conspicuous were chaps pushing prams and shepherding members of the ankle-biting community (human and canine) between cheering-on points. 


I remained in 8th position until the 7th kilometre, when the girl in front started to flag.  I was glad to make up a place, since I was just about to be overtaken by another woman behind me, but this didn’t happen – I heard a gasping voice behind me say ‘you go for it, I’ve got a stitch’.  I uttered some encouraging words such as ‘you’ve done enough – time to give up’ (not really!) and prepared to be trounced, but then came the 9k marker and I plummeted towards the end in 7th place, after hearing a stifled groan from my opponent.  The finish was on a village green area with lush grass that I was able to collapse on, in the usual Harriers manner, in a time of 44:57.  The race was splendid in all respects, particularly knowing my position in the field, which helped me actually run a race, rather than just run alongside other racers.  I would absolutely recommend this event to the other lady Harriers next year.




2nd  0:40:48 COX, Sarah Milton Keynes AC

6th  0:43:41 DOVER, Liz Alchester RC

13th  0:46:49 WATKINSON, KATE Alchester RC


1st  0:37:33 GALBRAITH, Tracy Headington Road Runners

5th  0:43:04 COPITCH, Jackie Reading Road Runners

8th  0:45:06 COLWELL, Michaela Tring Running Club


3rd  0:42:16 TAWNEY, Susie Leamington C & AC VL45

4th  0:42:33 HUETER, Gwyneth Oxford City AC VL45 

7th  0:44:57 GETTINS, Lucy Compton Harriers VL45 


31st  0:51:22 FEE, Brenda Shaftesbury Barnet VL55

37th  0:52:48 VARY, Christine Eynsham Road Runners VL55

38th  0:52:48 WILLIAMSON, Kate Eynsham Road Runners VL55

Muscular Dystrophy Trail of Trials, 22nd October



Early in October, I received a handful of flyers from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, for the ‘Trail of Trials’.  Advertised as an 8.5-mile trail run & walk, what caught my eye was that it was nice and local, following tracks and trails from Reading to Pangbourne.  What’s more, seeing as it was not a ‘race’ as such (you could start any time between 8:30 and 10:00 am), Mo and Tom decided to have a go, with absolutely no persuasion required whatsoever!

Tom arrived at our place at 8:30 and we set off in convoy to Pangbourne station, where we left my car before continuing in Tom’s to Reading.  At the Muscular Dystrophy tent below Reading Bridge, there was a small gathering of walkers and one other runner.  Some had set off earlier, and there were others yet to arrive.  We registered and put on our numbers.  We were told that marshals would be located only on the main roads near the start and finish, there were no route markers, and we were given a set of route directions to guide us to Pangbourne.  The man on registration took a call on his mobile, and it was rather disconcerting to hear he was speaking to a runner who was already on the route and was lost near New Lodge.  I made a mental note to be careful when I got to that point.  We were ready as we’d ever be, so the registration man noted the time, and I set off along the Thames towpath, leaving Mo and Tom squinting at the route directions and wishing they hadn’t left their glasses in the car!

            The first section was reasonably straightforward, following the river along a tarmac path, then guided by marshals across roads to the bottom of St. Peters Hill and through a churchyard.  Then, I was on my own.  Initially I tried reading the instructions while running but after about a mile, I found it easy to stop and read – after all, it wasn’t really a race.  Parts of the route were familiar to me from a cycle ride Mo and I had done along the Thames Path the previous summer.  However, the route strayed away from the Thames Path (which isn’t actually very close to the Thames in this area) at various points, so regular checking of the route instructions was essential.  On reaching New Lodge, I could see how the instructions were confusing, and I tentatively set off uphill along the narrow road up toward the woods as the instructions seemed to imply.  On reaching the track junction, I still wasn’t convinced I was going the right way, as The Chiltern Way wasn’t named on the signpost.  However, passing the ‘tree with white paint on’, and the ‘statue of Pan’ confirmed that I was on the right course.  I wondered how Tom and Mo were getting on without their glasses! - they both later said that they didn’t spot either the white tree or the statue.  Mo and I both missed spotting the old air-raid shelters too (Dick would be ashamed of us).

            A nice downhill run through woodland brought me out onto a concrete track, and it started to spit with rain as I passed the St. Johns Ambulance lady in Mapledurham.  Here, the instructions became more confusing, as the next 3 miles were covered by only 4 lines of writing giving the impression that Bozedown Farm came soon after Hardwick House.  I slowed down, convinced I’d missed a turning (Mo and Tom also had the same concerns), but decided to continue rather than retrace my steps.  Within 2 minutes, I passed the entrance to Bozedown farm vineyard (though I was completely oblivious to the field full of alpacas on my left), then followed the instructions along quiet roads into Whitchurch and over the Victorian toll bridge into Pangbourne.  Once into the surgery car park, the Muscular Dystrophy tent was in sight, and I finished in 59:30 having seen no other participants on the way.  Tom and Mo had run at their own paces, but had both had some company on the way.  Tom ran the early stages with an unattached runner from Oxford, while Mo had met a couple out on a Sunday run, who guided him through a tricky section near Mapledurham.  About 1K from the end, Mo heard someone whistle behind him and turned round to see Tom, who had been misguided by the route directions and had run a good mile extra.  They ran in together, finishing in 1:21, Mo having enjoyed the morning (especially the moment when he realised Tom was behind him!), but Tom not too happy about his detour, especially as it involved a tough uphill!  We were rewarded with generous goody bags containing running vest, cap, chocolate and a banana.  Overall, a pleasant Sunday training run, and all for a good cause.

Compton Harriers also competed in………


The Cardiff Half Marathon (14th October), where our two newest members, Rich and Matt, both ran well to finish in 1:48:08 and 1:53:22 respectively.


The Blenheim 10K (15th October), where Andy ran 40:39 for 25th spot, and Sus was 59th (6th lady) in 44:02.


The Abingdon Marathon (22nd October), where Lucy set an excellent P.B. of 3:37.



Handicap Race



On a pleasant evening for running, there was a record turnout of 14 runners for October’s Handicap Race.  Rick, Matt and Penny all did well on their first attempt at the race, and there were also some very good performances amongst the handicap regulars.  Kev knocked nearly 30 seconds off his P.B. to record a convincing victory for the second successive month.  There then followed a frantic spell for timekeeper Jan, and the next 11 runners finished within 33 seconds!  A semi-injured Martin acted as pacemaker and guide for Rick and Matt, and they took second and third spots.  Dick, finishing fourth, shaved a few more seconds off his recent best time while Pete achieved sub-13 again, and Sus narrowly missed a P.B.  Lucy, despite completing a 50-mile race five days previously, set a P.B., just passing Kirsty at the finish.  Tom was pacemaker and guide for Penny, while Ryan and I raced each other all the way round.  Ryan, in his efforts to gain places on a sprint finish, nearly sent Tom flying, while I just managed to pass Penny.  Andy had the unfortunate ‘honour’ of starting last and, on this occasion, he didn’t manage to pass anyone, but nevertheless set a good time.  Thanks to Jan for making a good job of the timing, despite the unexpectedly large number of runners.  The next Handicap Race is scheduled for Thursday 16th November – can Kev make it a hat-trick?





Start time

Finish time

Actual time

Handicap Beaten?












New Runner






New Runner






















































New Runner















Website update…



Now the clocks have been returned to GMT and the dark colder evenings are creeping in, it may be a good time to spend a little more time in front of your PC, browsing through all the wonderful links available on our website.  There is of course a very full history of previous links of the month, not to mention the links page itself.


For a kick-off this month, how about a look at which is a new site dedicated to running and recommended to me by none other than our very own Kevin. There are all the usual features you would expect from a running site although to access some of the features you need to register … which is free, but the pressure will be on to make a donation to the charity supported by the webmaster.


A new shop for the dedicated mountain biker has recently opened, located half a mile from Streatley, Berkshire at Greenlands Farm just off the A417 Wantage Road at the top of a rise on the right-hand-side of the road.  Sue and I have visited to check it out and were impressed with the stock on show … although it all looks a bit pricey, but you have to pay for quality!  More details at . (Site suggested by Sue).


For those of you that own gadgets such as the Garmin Heart Rate monitor and GPS, (and for those of you that don’t for that matter), I suggest a visit to where you can read about the reasons why these technologies can make you a fitter, healthier and more inspired runner.



Events Diary: A selection of local and other well known events for your information.  If you need any entry forms, I can email most of them on request and others are likely to be on the club notice board. 


Sunday 5th November 2006

·       OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE -  Race 1: Ascott under Wychwood,

·       MARLOW HALF MARATHON9:30 am Riley Road Recreation Ground,  Oxford Road, Marlow

·       20th STEVENAGE HALF MARATHON10:30 am (2 mile fun run 10:40 am) Fairlands Valley

     Showground, Stevenage.

·       TIDWORTH 10K – 10:45 am Tidworth Green, Next to Tidworth Oval,  Tidworth, SP9 7AF

Sunday 12th November 2006

·       THE SODBURY SLOG – 11:00 am Chipping Sodbury School, Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol.

Sunday 19th November 2006

·       BROOKS BRIGHTON 10K – 11:00 am Brighton & Hove seafront, start & finish on Madeira Drive.

Sunday 26th November 2006

·       THE MAYLARCH EYNSHAM 10K – 10:30 am at Bartholomew School, Eynsham, Oxfordshire.

Sunday 3rd December 2006

·       OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE -  Race 2: Culham Park,

·       LUTON MARATHON10:00 am at Lea Manor Recreation Centre, Northwell Drive, Luton, LU3 1LZ

Sunday 10th December 2006

·       BEDFORD HARRIERS HALF MARATHON10:00 am at Wootton Upper School, Hall End Road,

     Wootton, Beds.

·       ANDY READING 10K – 11:00 am Bicester Sports Association, Chesterton, Bicester

·       TADLEY RUNNERS XMAS XC 5.3  11:00 am Hurst Community College, Brimpton Rd, Tadley,

     RG26 5NL

Sunday 31st December 2006

·       OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE -  Race 3: Radley,

·       CLIVEDON CROSS COUNTRY 6 – 11:00 am Clivedon House, Taplow

Sunday 7th January  2007

·       GORING, WOODCOTE & DISTRICT 10K – 10:30 am Village Green, Woodcote, Reading, Berkshire. 

Sunday 14th January  2007

·       ROUGH ‘N’ TUMBLE 10 - 11:00 am Milton Lilbourne Village Hall (Wiltshire).

Sunday 4th February  2007

·       OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE -  Race 4: Cirencester Park,

Saturday 10th February  2007

·       BRANDS HATCH HALF MARATHON  - 10:00 am Indy Circuit, Brands Hatch, Kent.

Sunday 4th March  2007

·       OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE -  Race 5: Banbury,

·       BARCELONA MARATHON08:30 am Barcelona, Spain. See website for full details: - 

Sunday 11th March  2007

·       THE GRIZZLY – 10:30 am Seaton, Devon. (Entries closed, but opportunities to purchase from wimps)

Sunday 1st April  2007

·       THE SOUTH COAST ½  MARATHON, 10K & 5K – 10:00 am Seaford, East Sussex

Sunday 22nd April  2007

·       THE LONDON MARATHON9:00 am Greenwich, London   

Sunday 20th May 2007




(Mo – November 2006)