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THE HARRIERS HERALD

No. 140, October 2004

 

 

Editorial

                                                        

Welcome to October’s Harriers Herald.  My editor’s job has been made very easy this month, thanks to contributions from six members.  Following the October and November Thursday night schedules, we have a report from Kirsty, Maiden Voyage as a Mum, as she makes a welcome return to running after Lola’s birth.  The Harriers took part in several races during September, with some excellent results that will really give our club a good name on the ‘local running scene’.  (Incidentally, I will be writing to apply for our London Marathon Club Entry next week).  We begin with results of the latest Handicap Race.  Then Martin reports on the Kerridge 10K, Lucy gives the story of the Longbarrow Challenge, Susanne reports on a good performance in the Aldbourne 10K, and Sue P tells of her experiences running with a friend round the New Forest Half Marathon.  Finally, Mo gives us his latest choice of Websites and race Fixtures of interest.

 

It is time to be thinking about this year’s club Christmas Meal.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a venue?  Mo and I recently attended a retirement party at The Plough in East Hendred, and were impressed by the food, the service and the atmosphere, so that’s a possibility.  Thanks to all this month’s contributors to the Herald.  Here’s to another successful month for the Harriers.

 
Sue F

 

 
Thursday night schedule for October

Thurs    7th                    Peter to lead

Thurs    14th                  Tom to lead

Thurs    21st                  Handicap Race

Thurs    28th                  Malcolm to lead

 

 

Thursday night schedule for November

Thurs    4th                    Sue B to lead

Thurs    11th                  Marie to lead

Thurs    18th                  Handicap Race

Thurs    25th                  Martin to lead

 

Maiden Voyage As A Mum

Kirsty

 

Well it’s all over!  After almost nine months of ever increasing girth and ever decreasing exercise, swelling hands and feet and a very small lung capacity due to a very large bump, Lola’s here!  I hadn’t been able to run after six months of pregnancy due to about one contraction per mile, so I thought id better not push my luck and resorted to long walks with the dog.

So after a not too bad birth as births go (give or take a few stitches), as Lola fast approached five weeks old I decided that after a couple of weeks on the rowing machine, I was ready for a run.  So after stuffing Lola with as much milk as I could offload, I set to work on my mission.  First things first, did my running kit fit?  I dug out the black bin liner that had been home to my running kit since last April and had a search through.

After depressing myself with the sight of what looked like a hippo in lycra but was actually me, I selected my most stretchy pair of shorts and my biggest race T shirt, in a bid to disguise the empty bag that was once a relatively flat stomach.  Then to what any female runner will class as the most important bit of kit, the sports bra.

Having prided myself on the sheer volume of milk I was able to produce in hospital compared to the other mums, I needed some almost industrial strength elastic to protect my high yielders from what could potentially be a very milky accident!

In the end I opted for a combination of two bras, both claiming to be shock absorbers but so obviously not tested on breastfeeding mothers.  Having squeezed myself into my shock-absorbing girdle so that I could only partially inflate my lungs, I dug out my very dusty trainers.  After that I felt quite shattered and I’d only managed to put on my kit so far!

I did a few laps of the upstairs landing and assured myself that nothing was going to fall out and I would be safe to venture outside in daylight.  Having assured Andy that I was just going on a village loop and would be back soon, I left him very literally holding the baby.

I gingerly left the house, pulling my T-Shirt down as low as I could, turned left onto Burrrell road and headed around the village.  By the time I’d reached the bend of the road I’d realised that my lycra shorts may have fitted me, but offered no support for what felt like a sack of spuds bouncing up and down at the front and the bouncing was making my still a little sensitive womb feel like I’d been kicked by a herd of passing mules.  I told myself the discomfort would pass and I would finish the loop if I had to crawl round.

So, considering my belly predicament, I decided to bypass Shepherds Mount and carry on, on the flat for a while.  As I trotted towards the pub, I was wondering when my breathing was going to start to settle down until I remembered that I was wearing my girdle of sports bras which wasn’t too bad until I needed a little more oxygen than they would allow, so I slowed to an even slower pace than my previous snail pace to enable my breathing to recover.

I managed to plod extremely slowly to the Newbury Straight, trying to look as though I was enjoying myself every time I saw someone familiar and decided to do a fast walk up the hill.  This worked well and once round the corner the end was almost in sight.  Feeling quite pleased with myself I inched closer to our house and almost had a spring in my step when it came in sight, dashed for the front lawn only to come across two neighbours chatting outside.  When they noticed me they started to clap and cheer and say, how lovely it was to see me back out running again. I’d made it, my maiden voyage as a mum.

I staggered into the house, legs like jelly, bright red and puffing like a steam train.  Andy looked up from his armchair and said ‘Did you have a good run?’  ‘Yes it was OK’ I said.  Little did he know I thought, he’d never know, he’d never have the pleasure of birth.

One thing that hasn’t changed though, I had completed my first run, I was back on track and, as I thought, it felt wonderful.

 

Handicap Race (Village Lap)

Sue F

           

Eight runners took part in September’s Handicap Race and there were some good performances.  It was nice to see Dick out for one of his first runs since his operation, although it seemed slightly odd that he set off first instead of last!  Dick ran faster than he had expected and managed to stay ahead, establishing a start time for next month’s race.  Nick put in a good performance, almost catching Dick, and collecting the trophy for his efforts.  Behind him, Lucy once again knocked a few seconds off her P.B., while Martin recorded an excellent time of 10:49, and Susanne also took a chunk off her record.  Tom accompanied new runner Yvonne on her first Handicap outing while Mo, suffering from a chesty cold, did well to make it round.  I was resting my foot injury, so pedalled round the route.  Well-done Nick and thanks to Jan for time keeping.  The next handicap race is scheduled for Thursday 21st October.  There seems to be support for another Winter Handicap Series this year, but we may need to modify the rules a bit.

 

Pos

Name

Start time

Finish time

Actual time

Handicap Beaten?

1

Dick

0:00

15:32

15:32

‘New’ Runner

2

Nick

4:22

15:41

11:19

-0:19

3

Lucy

2:12

15:45

13:33

-0:15

4

Martin

4:57

15:46

10:49

-0:14

5

Susanne

3:08

15:47

12:39

-0:13

6

 

Yvonne

0:25

15:52

15:27

New Runner

Tom

0:25

15:52

15:27

-

8

Mo

0:20

16:51

16:31

+0:51

 

Sue F (bike)

8:00

15:55

7:55

-

 

 

The Kerridge multi-terrain 10K race, 5th September

Martin

 

By the time Lucy and I reached the race venue all traces of the early morning mist had been burnt off and Highclere Castle was basking in some late Summer sunshine, as were approximately 500 other souls.  Having exchanged my £9:00, the penalty for entering on the day, I duly pinned on my number, oh those shaky hands.  Pre-race nerves not Parkinson’s disease, I hope.

After his nibs had fired the starting pistol, the route took the race crocodile past Highclere Castle and then on a convoluted course around the confines of the Highclere estate itself.  In the true spirit of a multi-terrain event, the race director had incorporated a bit of track, road, grass and tarmac which took ‘us’ runners on an undulating course through some very nice countryside, all of which was very runnable.

The event was extremely well organised and even sported a coherent P.A. system.  Tea and stickies were also available after the race, for a small consideration.  Hats off to Lord Carnaervon for hosting the race, it’s another one for next year’s race diary.

 

The numbers

Malcolm           race position = 313        time = 57:40

Lucy                 race position = 163        time = 49:00 (9th lady vet)

Susanne            race position = 101        time = 45:27 (12th lady)

Dave Wright     race position = 23          time = 39:29 (1:23 from coming 16th, whooped or what)

Martin              race position = 16          time = 38:07

 

480 finishers, overall winner Brian Gardner (Swindon Harriers); time 33:19

 

Longbarrow Challenge, 12th September

Lucy

 

The absolutely and positively last ever Longbarrow challenge took place on Sunday 12th September and attracted 37 runners, 12 walkers and no cyclists (the biking component was scrapped this year).  Conditions were perfect, with a pleasantly cool breeze and occasionally a clear sky in between the black clouds.  Of the Compton Harriers, Martin, Mo and I were running, Dick and Jan were timekeepers and Sue, who couldn’t run this year because of injury, was marshalling.  This year, to prevent sabotage, Tom had changed from red-and-white tape to a system of yellow dots for marking the off-road course. One dot for straight ahead, two meant a change in direction coming soon.  This was all explained carefully at the start and, after a short speech by champion trail-runner Dick Kearn, we were started by the traditional bursting of a balloon.

 

I felt surprisingly feisty this year, and at the first road crossing Sue cheered me as ‘first lady’. Eeek!  After a couple of miles the true order of nature righted itself and I was overtaken by a ‘proper runner’.  A couple of men also overtook me and, as I reached the foot of Inkpen Hill, I counted 22 runners in front of me, with the startlingly fluorescent Fray vest at the head of the queue!  As we clambered up the incline, all those Streatley Hill sessions gradually asserted themselves, and I kept on jogging to overtake a couple of runners who were walking.  From the gibbet on Inkpen Hill until Combe Hill, after checkpoint 2, I held my position and enjoyed the scenery.  I lost a place but gained it back again on Walbury (“At 297 metres the highest chalk hill in the South of England”), and then enjoyed the glorious descent over the grass of the new route, and picked up the pace through West Woodhay to overtake two more stragglers. Once I reached Tom’s crazy labyrinth through the woods I had to slow down a little, as everything had started to look like a yellow dot.  Luckily, as I was just about to jump a leg-breaking ditch, a white-shirted bystander appeared, like a spirit guide, and pointed out that there was a bridge there, if I preferred.

 

I reached the finish line with one second to spare, as someone was trying to overtake me.  What’s his idea then!  Martin was looking disconsolate since he had run an extra quarter-mile through the woods and been pipped by 12 seconds into 2nd place.  Since no other ladies had overtaken me, I too was second, and only by about 3 minutes.  Mo was 33rd in 2:14 and was pleased not to have got lost.  First man and lady were Dave Wright and Joanna Pine, in 1:29:36 and 1:53:09 respectively.  The trophies were fine brass representations of Combe gibbet, which would have looked good on the Fray mantelpiece but, as I assured Martin, it would probably have been catastrophic Feng Shui to keep such an item in the house, and we were all much better off with the extremely fine key-rings that were given to finishers.

 

We ended the morning with a light meal at the Crown and Garter.  Susanne arrived later with the news that she had come second too, in the Aldbourne 10K!  And 1st Vet lady.  Tom and Maggy remained on the course, waiting for the last walkers to come in through the rain.  I’m sure I’m not the only person who found this year’s race a very positive experience and if Tom wanted to carry it on for another year we would all be most pleased!


Aldbourne 10K, 12th September

Susanne

 

I absolutely love this race, just go uphill for a while and then downhill, a bit of lawn and you are finished - no risk of getting lost or accidentally taking a wrong turn, and perhaps lose your position like so many other races.  Talking about getting lost, I never did find the new parking field assigned to the race. But a reliable man (I think he was because he was walking around with 2 pints of milk and a paper) advised me to park at the Square.  So I went to the check in, got my number and found my lady bush a couple of times before I headed for a warm up and the start line.  There was a strong wind on the uphill bit so I managed to gain upon two men with broad shoulders and was hoping I could get a bit of shelter but they were the type of runners who liked to have a conversation while running.  I am not in favour of too much talking on a run and especially not in a race but, polite as you are, I replied to their questions. They thought I was the Sue B (F) from Compton Harriers, well if you are mistaken for Sue then you are not doing too badly.  So I did not mind that bit.  As the course turned I thought it was time for me to go on, so I overtook them on one of the lovely hills.  On the steep downhill bit I was running with another guy who claimed that if he went any faster he would fall over.  I did not want to be in his way if he should do, so I desperately tried to copy Lucy's downhill technique and I managed to shake him off.  A few minutes later I was greeted with a finish line and the usual banana and flapjack and a T-shirt.  There was a small confusion at prize-giving but we did get it sorted out in the end and I think we could all agree that Aldbourne had again managed to organise a lovely race.

 

The result:         Senior Men                  Jason Cooke                37:17

                                                            Ashley Fox                   39.08

                                                            John-Paul Taylor          39.53

                        Vet Men                       Steve Goulding             36.57

                        Senior Male Vet           Derek Stevens              36.41       

                        Senior Ladies               Kate Danks                  45.48

                                                            Julie Goulding               47.10

                                                            Judie Rouse                  49.13 

                        Vet Ladies                    Susanne Enhard            46.02

                        Senior Lady Vet           Julie Simmons               47.10

Sue Paulin also ran, finishing in around 55 minutes

 

New Forest Half Marathon, 19th September

Sue P

 

On Friday 17th September, four (eager?) campers (myself1, Dave2 and two friends Andy3 and Sally4) set off for the New Forest for a little relaxation prior to running the New Forest half marathon 1 and 4 only).  Due to traffic delays and very British weather, we pitched our tents in the dark and wet!  But not to be deterred, we headed straight for the nearest pub for some much needed refreshment.  Saturday was spent walking, relaxing and carbo-loading (pasta and cream teas).  Despite the relatively nice day, the rain started almost as soon as we had gone to bed, so we were all feeling slightly weary on Sunday morning.

Sally admitted that she had started to feel very nervous during the night, so she was even more sleep-deprived than the rest of us.  I should point out here that Sally only started running in 2003 and was motivated to run a half marathon after: 1) running the Aldbourne 10K in 2003; 2) watching the Paris marathon in 2004, and 3) wanting to raise some money for the village school in Aldbourne.  So, together we had chosen an event that would combine time away with nice scenery and one that would hopefully not be too hilly.  Sally thought the fact that we live in a valley would work to her advantage on a flat course in addition to the fact that she had run the ‘undulating’ Compton boundary run and successfully managed to add an extra 2 miles (ish) to the course!  I had said that I would run with Sally as I really wanted her to enjoy the day and I felt that the encouragement and company I could give her would get help her get round.  Her only aim was to complete the race and run all of the way if possible, although when we arrived at the car park in New Milton, Sally did start to look a bit white with fear.  We took a gentle walk to the start, which was along the high street in the town, and made our way to the back of the field.

Luckily the weather was perfect for running and the route was scenic and only mildly undulating.  It was a well-organised road race that combined areas of forest with fairly quiet village roads, although there were a few short stretches that were particularly busy traffic wise.  Sally did well, but she started to struggle from around 10 miles and uttered a few swear words to Andy and Dave when they told her to hurry up near the finish!!  She did manage to run all the way and completed the course in 2:32:49, which was a great achievement.  She also raised over £500 for Aldbourne primary school.  Given a few days to reflect, she said that she feels proud, although the full marathon may be a little way off yet!  For the record, there were 1394 finishers in the half marathon. The fastest man finished in 1:10:10 and the fastest lady in 1:24:10.

 

 

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

Mo

As the dark nights are now approaching, now is the time to check out our high visibility gear, make sure the flashing lights are working and renew any spent batteries.  If you are looking for a supplier of the Armalite armbands, I noticed that the British Amateur Gymnastic Association sell them online at £15.00 a time, see http://www.baga.co.uk for details.  However, I have also located a company that specialises in high visibility safety equipment, including a variety of flashing LED products.  I have emailed the company on behalf of the club requesting a pricelist.  To view the range of products, the website address is http://www.advancedsafetyproducts.co.uk .  If you prefer a head torch, then the site to visit for a good selection, including a tiny lightweight 40 gram model (a snip at £20.00) is http://www.facewest.co.uk which also features an extensive range of winter sports gear … don’t forget to look at the ultimate in watches!

 

Whilst on the subject of outdoor equipment, The Gorge Outdoors website is a must for a visit at http://www.thegorgeoutdoors.co.uk .  This site also features head torches including the lightweight ‘Silva M4’ at £24.99.

 

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

 

·    Sunday 3rd October 2004 at 10.30 amFINCHCOASTERS TOUGH 10 – 10 mile trail race around Swinley Forest in Bracknell. Price: £7.50, £8.50 unaffiliated. £1.00 extra on the day. http://www.finchcoasters.org.uk 

 

·   Sunday 10th October 2004 at 11.00amRIDGEWAY RUN - 15Km cross country - Tring Park Cricket Club, Tring (in Hertfordshire).  http://www.tringrunningclub.org.uk/Ridgeway.htm

 

·   Sunday 10th October 2004 at 10 amTHE HENLEY HALF MARATHON - A 13.1 mile course, through Henley, alongside the scenic River Thames and through Chiltern Beech woods on road and hard surfaces except for one mile of grassed riverside footpath. http://www.henleyhalfmarathon.org.uk

 

·   Sunday 17th  October 2004 at 9.00am - AKZO NOBEL ABINGDON MARATHON - wheelchairs 8.55am http://www.abingdonamblers.co.uk

 

·   Sunday 17th October 2004 at 11.00am - WOBURN RHINO 10KM RUN AND 4KM FUN RUN - A scenic single lap 10km course around the edge of the Safari Park and through the Woburn Deer Park. http://www.savetherhino.org/uk_events/woburn_rhino_run.phtml

 

·   Thursday 21st October 2004 at 7.30 pm - WESTON PROM RUN 2004-2005 SERIES (2 OF 9) -

 

·   Saturday 23rd October 2004 at 9.00 am – BEACHY HEAD MARATHON - St Bede's School, Duke's Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex http://www.beachyheadmarathon.org.uk for details.

 

·   Sunday 31st October 2004 at 10.00 amTHE STICKLER 10.1 MILES - http://www.dorsetdoddlers.org.uk

 

·   Sunday 7th November 2004 Start time: 11.01 a.m.THE RAINFOREST FOUNDATION OPEN 10K - Fast, flat, traffic free and BAF/RRC certified accurate course in Victoria Park, London.  http://www.runfortherainforest.org/

 

·   Sunday 7th  November 2004OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE – Ascott-under-Wychwood

            Ladies Start time: 11.0 am; Mens Start time: 11.45 am

 

·   Sunday 7th November 2004 at 9.30 am14th MARLOW HALF MARATHON   http://www.marlowstriders.co.uk for details and entry form.

 

·   Thursday 18th November 2004 at 7.30 pm - WESTON PROM RUN 2004-2005 SERIES (3 OF 9)

 

·   Sunday 21st November at 10.30amThe Avebury 8 is just over 8 miles, starting and finishing in Avebury, a World Heritage Site famed for its stone circle. Closing date for entries 7th October 2004.  T-shirts for every advanced entry. For entry form and further details, visit www.marlboroughrunningclub.org.uk

 

·   Sunday 28th November 2004 Start time: 10.30 a.mEYNSHAM 10K – Bartholomew school, Eynsham, Oxford. Closing date 20th November 2004. http://www.eynsham.org/roadrunners.html

 

·   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 2004OXFORD MAIL X-COUNTRY LEAGUE – Enslow Quarry

            Ladies Start time: 11.00 am; Mens Start time: 11.45 am

 

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

 

Did anyone see the programme on BBC 2 about the race to the North Pole? … Well, there is a lesson to be learnt … as winter approaches, remember to keep all clothes well buttoned/zipped to protect your most vulnerable parts from frostbite especially when running! (-2 is a big reduction!).

 

 (Mo - Oct 2004)