On The Run 2015 - Bedford Harriers

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On the Run Awards Edition


January 2015

• Anne & Claire Adamson • Sam Baylis • Justin Burrell • Chris Capps • Steve Crane • Alastair Fadden • Gill Fullen • • Lynne Greenard • Ian Hammett • Lorena Henderson • Angie Kay • Jackie Keenan • Jenny King • Mark Taggart • Ian Williams •

Magazine Editor: Lynne Greenard

First and foremost, I’m sure I speak for all Harriers when I say how grateful we are to still have Steve Crane with us at all, never mind as chair, after the nasty scare he gave everyone at the Stevenage relays. Thanks must go once again to the emergency services for their prompt and efficient action. Have to say, seeing him run now, it is hard to believe that it ever happened. Well, it’s great to be back editing the magazine for another year, even if I have had to do a little bullying to get some of you to put pen to paper. To those of you that have contributed, enormous thanks, and to those who haven’t, don’t worry; you’ve a got a year to put something together for the next one! I think we may often feel we’ve got nothing of interest to say but, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When we read of others’ problems with running or training, we are reassured that it’s all part of this peculiar hobby we all have, and when we read of others’ achievements, we can be happy for them or even inspired to do things we never dreamt we could do. In this issue, I hope you’ll find lots of things that will interest and surprise you and maybe some new activities you might want to try. Happy reading! Like many other aspects of the Harriers, there are always people busying away behind the scenes, making sure that things run like clockwork and making it look easy (e.g. see Chris Capps article on being a race director). Producing this magazine is no exception. Whilst contributing and editing are an integral part of the job, the unsung hero who puts all the articles and photos together in such a professional manner, is Alastair Fadden. A big ‘thank you’ to him is definitely in order. Lynne Greenard Magazine Editor

Steve Crane, Harriers chairman It’s a pleasure and an honour to be invited to write the opening paragraphs for 2014’s ‘On The Run.’ What a year it’s been! During the last 12 months, Bedford Harriers members have recorded 3404 race results, ranging from standard local road races such as the Sandy 10 and the Flitwick 10K, to the distant reaches of Malaysia for the Penang Bridge Half Marathon, and the ultra events of La Diagonale des Fous Reunion Island (near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean), and the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Along the way 29 new club records were set and 2 ladies had a clean sweep in their age categories, setting new club records for all of the 6 standard road race distances. Bedford Harriers won first team prizes at many events including The Round Norfolk Relay (Club Class), The Greensand Ridge Relay (Fastest Mixed Team), The Beds AAA Cross Country (Ladies team award), The Three Counties Cross Country League Ladies team award) and Wimbleball 70.3 Ironman Team Relay. An extremely creditable 5th place was attained by our ladies team at the South of England Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill in January. This is a highly competitive race and our team finished 5th from a field of 72 teams with individuals in 12, 36, 65 and 73 positions. A huge number of personal bests were achieved throughout 2014 and a considerable number of Standard Awards earned. Achievements don’t necessarily need to be measured in terms of racing success; sometimes just finishing a training session is a success in itself. The point is, to keep training and enjoy the camaraderie and social elements along the way. 2015 sees the Club celebrate its 30th Anniversary. Events have already been planned and arrangements are underway. Please watch the club’s website and read your emails for further news. Finally, a club is only as good as its volunteers. Bedford Harriers is fortunate to have many members that volunteer their services on a regular basis however we shouldn’t be complacent; please don’t wait to be asked, offer your services in advance. Belated Happy New Year to one and all. Steve 2

Lesley Gaunt and Jenny King give new running strategies a go Lesley Gaunt: St Neots Half Marathon – something new!

Hot on the heels it seemed of a non- too- impressive Great Eastern Half Marathon at Peterborough, the St Neots Half was looming. In the intervening weeks, although weekends had included longer runs, I still felt I wasn’t ready and the more I thought about it, the more and more less ready I became! During those intervening weeks, I had been listening to a couple of other runners who had adopted a run walk regime on the races they had done, and with considerable success. Now over the years I have heard of this idea of mixing up the running bit with a walking bit, and heard positive comments, but never had the courage myself. Why would you walk for goodness sake if it was a running race? Why would you walk if you were super fit and race ready? The answer is, I never quite had the courage to try it. Not that I never walked in races – oh no, it has been known to get to a certain point when your legs betray you, the brain goes on holiday and you find yourself walking without having planned it at all and you have that ‘how did that happen?’ feeling. Because of the experience of Peterborough, and spurred on by the experiences of others, and because I was not race fit, I decided to do something new. I decided that each time I reached a mile marker I would walk briskly for one minute, and then run on to the next mile marker. Now I have to say, it does feel very odd walking at one mile! You feel good, no reason to stop, and people come past you and give you that “walking already?” look. A lot of exaggerated looking at my watch occurred at those walking points trying to make the point to anyone watching that it was intended and that this is ‘A Plan’. People pass you as you walk, giving you encouragement, and you realize that it’s best just to say thank you, after all their comments are genuine and well meant.

Jenny King 2014 has been a great running year for me: This Spring I managed the Virgin London Marathon (albeit in a rubbish time, but so what? I am one in fewer than a million who have achieved it at all!) However, after the marathon I found myself running slower than ever and I soon decided that this would not do. I am not getting any younger and I feared becoming ploddy before my time, so I went to see a very helpful sports therapist who showed me what I was doing wrong and how to run more efficiently. The new foot plant he taught me necessitated me having to skip along to the sports shop to buy yet another new pair of running shoes: I never thought I would develop a trainer fetish that is well on the way to overtaking my passion for normal shoes.

So yes, people pass you as you walk, but it’s amazing how many people you pass when you run, and the pace you can keep up. I realize that can become annoying for others, all this playing leap frog, and I admit that in the last 2 miles I had quite a to and fro with one lady runner so much so that in the end I felt I had to reveal “It’s A Plan” before starting my last mile of running and (awkward…..) beating her across the line by about 200m - at which point she said “Well, it was a ****** good plan!”

The new running style is beginning to feel more natural, though my calves tire of it after a little while. But, it’s definitely working and I am gradually becoming more able to run a bit faster for a bit longer. I was thrilled to finally get an official sub-onehour time for a 10k (Standalone) and my Parkrun times have improved too. I was annoyed in November when the official time was five seconds longer than my watch had told me, taking me over 29 minutes by two seconds and I’m determined to achieve sub-29 officially next time. I don’t often go along because I prefer a longer run, but this is so annoying that I will have to prioritise the 5k distance in the short term.

So how did it feel? Well I felt really very good right up until 8.5 miles. The mile pace was I think better than if I had attempted to run it all, and it was actually easy to start running again after walking, no stiff legs or anything. The problem with 8.5 was this – you have just come up Abbotsley hill again, and are on an incline headed towards the next water stop. Despite the fogginess and coolness of the day, I was thirsty and decided to walk for longer, making sure I took in a drink. That worked fine although of course made that next mile slower. Then we had to run over a cinder road – energy sapping. Still I continued the regime, no unplanned walking, but the result for me was that I had a bit of a dip between miles 9 and 11. But then – back on to a tarmac road, rehydrated, no more hills and we’re off! It was then that I made my “It’s A Plan” confession and probably managed to annoy people who had passed me walking as I positively hammered past them all (9:30 miling kind of hammering, obviously).

I have run three half marathons so far this year with two more to go before the end of December. My times aren’t anything special but, running is so empowering that the clock shouldn’t be the only thing to think about. It has improved my fitness and general health and made me feel positive about myself. If only people would have a go instead of making excuses, they would soon discover the joy of running for themselves and have the bonus of feeling ten years younger! I am so grateful to our wonderful coaches who give us a variety of interesting and challenging runs week after week a thank you to all of you.

The end result was that I had tried it, and yes, actually, I think it worked. I felt OK afterwards, whereas sometimes I can feel a bit dodgy after that kind of distance, and legs recovered well. Would I try it again? I think the answer is yes, if I thought I wasn’t fit enough to do a longer distance race justice (or even a longer distance training run) then I would try it again. In fact I’m wondering whether to try it at Folksworth….......


If you think running a race is hard, try being a race director. Chris Capps gives an insight into the trials and tribulations of the role

I cannot remember whether that winter was particularly severe, however I do remember there was snow about during March, something which does happen, but usually disappears quickly. Not in 2013! The forecast was snow on the Saturday, clearing by the Sunday, but we all know a forecast is just that. What would the weather do? On the Saturday, remember we had 2 vans booked, food had to be bought, bread had been ordered, the school would be opened, runners were carbloading, and it was snowing quite heavily. However, the forecast had not changed, so it was hoped that on the Sunday, race day, the temperatures might rise. So I get a phone call, as Race Director, what do we do? (to be honest I think the decision had already been made, however it was my call). A quick evaluation of where we were, the implications of a delay in respect of cost and effort, led me to decide to cancel there and then.

Road Race Director is an important position for all our races and when Kevin Willet stepped down after 10 years in the role for Oakley, I felt I had to step up and ensure continuity. The race event has grown considerably during the period Kevin was Race Director with annual finishers growing from 230 in 2003 to 867 in 2012. It has become the popular final longdistance training race for those doing London Marathon or any Spring Marathon. What an act to follow! My background in highways maintenance project management has made me well suited to the role of Race Director, and apart from my volunteering for races going back to the early 00’s, I did become race director for a new race; the Harrold 10k. This was our 25th anniversary race in 2005. My error for the 2006 race was to assume it would be very popular and over-order the memento; a yellow Harriers’ hand towel, and having to sell them off for ages after to try and recover some costs. A lesson learned. So in late 2012, for the 2013 race, the transition began with a series of meetings and helpful ‘to do’ lists. Critical things are: booking the HQ, road race permit, race measurement certificate, mementos, trophies, St John’s Ambulance, race numbers, , applying for a road closure and, more recently, online registration. The title ‘Race Director’ is apt because to start with, the role is quite solitary, just working through the paperwork. However to put on a race takes a whole host of people with different skill sets and, as a club, we are blessed with people who have those skills and are willing to volunteer and commit to supporting our races. These people are the life blood of this club.

This meant our costs were capped; no bacon/sausages purchased, no vans loaded then unloaded, we were able text all runners and volunteers saying ‘race cancelled, look at our web site for more details’. Contact was made to those who support us to inform them. The phones were red hot. We were thanked for an early decision as runners could reschedule their weekend, and were not in limbo, unsure what to do. For me, having cancelled the race, I did worry Sunday would dawn bright with warming temperatures and loads of disappointed runners. As it happens, I spent my morning at Oakley making sure that no one turned up expecting a race, and it snowed all morning so I was able to take photos of the school and Station Road which, rather than heaving with runners, were deserted. We had incurred all the costs for the race, hence the reason we have to get runners when registering, to confirm acceptance that there will be no refunds if races are cancelled. I did get a few emails asking why there were no refunds. From memory, most were happy with my explanation.

I am not going to name names, as I am bound to forget some of them, however they include: • Those who administer the online registration upload, the reconciliation of runners who have registered to those where a payment has been received, • The population of the Race Data Management System, • The Chief Marshal, who is involved in advance of the race and is the key person on the day. • Our chip timing team, marrying up chips with runners’ details and race numbers, together with checking the timing mats, to confirm they all work. This is a key role; no timing mats, no times, equals unhappy runners. • Those who help prepare the race kit, all stored in the Harriers’ lockup, including the finish gantry, water containers, cable ties, cones, tables, cups, serviettes, gazebos, marshals’ hi-viz jackets, litter bins, signs, broom poles, hammers, whackers, gloves,. • The catering team, preparing hot food and drinks for marshals and runners. • Volunteers on the Saturday van loading at HQ, setting up the route and the finish. • Volunteers on the day organising car parking, baggage, chip distribution (many then race), water stations, course marshals, lead car, sweep, chip removal, catering, PA, start and finish set up, chip timing for the duration of the race. • Others, including St John’s, ATC (on water stations), physio team, the school caretaker. As autumn 2012 became winter 2013 the preparation for the race continued. There were a few worries as I remembered something I had not done and a problem was identified. However, registration was looking good with a full race, volunteers had been allocated roles, the road closure had been approved. Now all we could do was wait for the race weekend.

The final decision was about the hoodies, of which we had near on 1,000. Quick discussion and it was decided to offer them to all runners, but they would need to confirm they wanted one and let us know their size, with a time limit to respond. Once the list was finalised, through a committee member, we found a company who would pack and post out all the hoodies. The postage and packing was an additional cost, but was the least we could do, especially as we needed to get rid of them anyway. So in conclusion, Kevin had been Race Director for ten years and had put on 10 successful races, I had been Race Director for one year and had to cancel that one, which of course was the right decision. So in summary, while Race Directors are the people in the firing line, they are supported by many hard-working volunteers who have the necessary skills and are prepared to volunteer their time in supporting our races and making them so successful. My final comment therefore, is to thank them all for all their efforts in the past and to continue doing so in the future, and if any Club members have skills that we can use please, please volunteer. Chris Capps, Oakley 20 Race Director.

Editor’s note: It seems those hoodies from ‘the race that never was’ have become quite iconic. Last year I happened to be wearing one whilst staying at a youth hostel in Derbyshire when loads of runners turned up for an ‘ultra’ race similarly attired. The in-joke was to ask to ask anyone wearing one, what time they did.


Going Back

I joined the Harriers in the early nineties when there were considerably fewer members than today. I never really gave up running but drifted away from the Harriers a few years ago when pressures in my life made it difficult to get to the club regularly but I still went out on my own and kept up my membership.

I thought about coming back but kept putting it off. Would there be any of the old faces left? Would I fit in? Could I even still hack it?

As every Harrier member knows, running becomes something that you have to do...it drives you, and reminds you if you neglect it. Running on your own can be satisfying but I think that to get the best out of the sport, you need to have a focus that is perhaps part of a bigger picture. To compete in a race and have a number on your chest and to be aware of your PB’s etc., becomes so much more enjoyable if you can relate to other people...club members...who share your enjoyment of running and wear the same vest and will happily swap those race post mortems that we all enjoy. For me, it was the sight of that familiar yellow vest at the Saturday morning Park run, and indeed some familiar faces, that made me realise what I had been missing.

Your next GREAT opportunity to volunteer at a Bedford Harriers event will be the Oakley 20 on Sunday 29th March 2015 5

Also, my daughter had taken up running. She was taking part in the Park runs too and she later joined the club which gave me another reason for returning. It was a bit scary coming back but I shouldn’t have worried. From the early nineties to present day one thing has never changed. The friendship and the camaraderie are always there making you comfortable and welcoming you back. Jackie Keenan

Bev Hayes discusses her triumph in Austria; 11.50 for her very first Ironman First of all Bev, why did you choose Ironman Austria for your first event? Well, I wanted to do an ‘Ironman’ branded race because if it was going to be my one and only, I wanted to be able to say I’d done the real thing…..and get the tattoo of course! Funnily enough, I had that done the day after I got back as the tattooist could fit me in that afternoon. I feel a bit embarrassed about it now. Why? It’s beautiful and you well- and- truly earned it. Well, I suppose so. It is funny, you can train yourself for the physical challenge but emotionally before the event I was a wreck (all perfectly normal I have since been told). It was when the Willetts and the Parellos surprised me by flying out to support me that the emotions started to take over. They arrived on the Friday before the event, I came back from a swim and there they were sitting having coffee at our hotel! We all had some lunch and then they left to book into their hotel, I just burst into tears…..I was just overwhelmed that they had come all that way to support little old me! The Saturday before the race was just an endless flow of tears as I attended the race briefing, packed my transition bags and left my beloved bike ‘Pluto’ in transition. I must have got it all out of my system as on race day I was fine. I thought there may be tears as I crossed the finish line but nope…….just a big fat grin! The first people I saw once I finished was Kevin and Zoe Willett. Being a nurse Zoe looked at me and said I was fine while Kev lifted me off the ground and started jumping about saying 11.50! It hadn’t entered my mind to add up my times or even look at the clock as I finished but when Kev kept saying ‘Look, 11.50’ I replied ‘No’, you haven’t added the swim time on’. It wasn’t until I got my medal engraved in the finisher’s tent and I saw the time I thought ‘blimey’ Kevin was right!!! It is very special when you finish an event that you have worked hard preparing for and to share that time with friends, it reminds you just how good it is to be a Bedford Harrier. So the decision to tackle the Ironman, was it just another thing to tick off the bucket list? To be honest, I thought I’d never do a triathlon after watching Steve (my partner) competing in them. I could run, I didn’t have the bike but it was watching him swim in dirty rivers and lakes which just wasn’t my cup of tea. Then he entered the ‘Outlaw’ in 2011 and I remember thinking that the swim didn’t look too bad that was the beginning of my slippery slope into triathlon. Yes, that was something that I found puzzling. You were always a pretty good runner, albeit one that had had major knee surgery, but then went from being a beginner at swimming to being competent in a matter of weeks. What’s the secret? It was not a matter of weeks believe me, it was months of hard work. Unfortunately there’s no secret; I had a swimming lessons for a while to learn how to swim front crawl; however I ended up swimming breaststroke in my first sprint tri because there were so many people in the race, I couldn’t get going. It was really disappointing, not least because I hadn’t been allowed to swim breaststroke for months because of my knee operation, so even that was a real struggle. If competing in the pool had been my only option then that would have been my first and last triathlon. I got out of the pool thinking ‘I’m never going to do that again’. But then I got into open water and then my attitude completely changed. Saying that I reverted back to breaststroke in my first open water sprint at Box End, it all just went terribly wrong!!!! When choosing which Ironman to do it was the swim which influenced me the most. I decided that a lake swim would suit me best which is why I chose Austria; I thought the swim looked really good. What I hadn’t realized was that the canal you have to do the last part of the race in was very narrow and everyone was swimming on top of each other. It was horrific but at the end, I thought to myself ‘at least I’ve completed an Ironman swim so, whatever happens next, no one can take that away from me’. But, that’s what I found so astounding; in that race, you did a swim time that some of the best swimmers in the club would be proud of. Yes, I was pleased with my swim time. I did it at a really comfortable, steady pace and never felt that I was out of my comfort zone. I’d started at the back to try and keep out of trouble so I actually didn’t move for the first few minutes. In retrospect, Steve said this was a fundamental error; I didn’t give myself enough credit for how strong a swimmer I had become and gave myself a lot of work to do swimming through other competitors. Added to that, the official results at the time said that the swim was 3.9k rather than 3.8k so it might well have been a bit longer than the set distance. So are you still having lessons? Well I’m having some lessons on technique to make my stroke a bit more efficient. Apart from that I still swim three times a week; two drill sessions including some speed reps and then one long swim every week. I’ve started a ten-week- long training programme so that when I start training for my next long distance race, I’ll have a good basic level of fitness. That’s the strategy I used last time; that way I didn’t go from zero to 12-13 sessions a week; that’s too much of a shock to the system.


So how do you keep motivated? I doubted if I was capable of completing a long distance triathlon so I decided to make myself a motivation door; I put pictures and captions on the door that meant a lot to me, you know, pictures of the finish line and such. If I ever doubted myself I would look at my door; I even took a photo of the door so when I was out in Austria I could look at it if I needed to. I guess it did help especially on those wet and windy mornings when you don’t really want to do that long bike ride! Would you say it helps to live with an Ironman? Yes definitely. Steve has done 3 long distance triathlons so he understood what I had to do. Steve has done a bit of coaching so I asked him to help me and (bless him) he worked out all my training programmes and supported me throughout my journey…he got great joy kicking me out of bed in the mornings when I needed to go out training. I could not have done it without him. Did it cause any rows between you? No, he just took the mickey out of me when I got tired and grumpy. When he was training I had to put up with him doing the same thing, so I looked at it as payback! And, you were new to cycling too, weren’t you. Oh yes. I wasn’t interested in triathlon but wanted to do some cycling. I borrowed a hybrid bike for the weekend to see how I got on, Steve took me out a couple of times and before the end of that weekend we had ordered a bike for me! I thought it would be for leisurely bike rides but before long I was going out with the beginners’ Sunday group trying to keep up!!! So, is it fair to say that you’re now hooked? Yeah, definitely. I remember when I told my mum I was doing an Ironman she couldn’t understand why on earth I’d want to do it. Why couldn’t I just sit down and read a book as other people do? But, my philosophy is, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, you have to do things while you can because you never know when you might not be able to. In actual fact, I loved the training for the Ironman. Having watched Steve do it, I knew what I was letting myself in for and it never bothered me at all to go out on the bike for 6 or 7 hours. To vary the training we went to Majorca with some other Harriers for a week in May which was great. I also did the Chiltern 100 with other Harriers which was a tough sportive but great to cycle in a different place. So where’s your next race then? Somewhere exotic? Nottingham! I am doing the ‘Outlaw’ in 2015. This is not an Ironman branded race but there are so many advantages. The entry fee is not exorbitant, there’s a campsite nearby and we can take the dog; the nice thing is there are no flights and transfers to consider. Don’t get me wrong, the first one was special and I have some wonderful memories of it but I need to watch the pennies for a while. So, it’s cost you a bit of money then? Yes, financially the ironman has ruined me!! You have to remember that it is not only the race itself to pay for but flights, accommodation food and drink while away and leading up to the event the nutrition. I also completed a half ironman distance event as practice beforehand….everything adds up!! With this experience behind you, what advice would you give to any fellow harriers who might be thinking of stepping up the distance? Don’t do it! Don’t even go there because your life will never be the same again! Seriously though, regular training is the key. Just like you do when you start running; you build up from a 5k to a 10k etc. you don’t start with the marathon. I would also advise regular massages with someone who knows your body well. I had one every couple of weeks, and depending on the level of training they would work on the areas that needed it most. It kept me in one piece and ensured I made it to the start line. Well, the best of luck for your next race Bev, and thanks for a lot of laughs during the interview and, of course, the chocolate cake.


Sometimes the marathon just isn’t enough! Mark Taggart describes the highs and lows of running the Stour Valley Path 100k ultrarun

Checkpoint 1 (CP1) was 12 miles in and that portion of the race went pretty much OK, apart from a battle with my race number. Having had trouble at quite a few self-navigated runs, sticking to the course here was a dream. The SVP waymarkers were very obvious and the organisers also had put red and white tape wherever there may be some confusion to help you on your way. In addition to the yellow arrows sprayed on the ground (especially liked the one on a cow pat) you became pretty confident that you would find your way. In fact after CP3, I put my map in my bag and barely needed it. CP2 came and went 33 miles in with the only notable issue being some uncomfortable stomach problems (not sure refried beans was sensible the night before); but I know for a fact I was not the only one to have to answer the call of nature behind a bush – oh the joys of trail running! Sadly CP2 to CP3 was my worst period. It was about a 9 mile stretch between the two, and I really hit my personal wall at about 35 miles into the race. I struggled to motivate myself and the reality that this might be a distance too far really kicked me in the teeth. Wading across a heavily ploughed field uphill with heavy legs, I began to wonder what it would be like to DNF. But I’ll be honest (and a bit cheesy here) I talked myself out of it by reminding myself of one thing. This was one day of pain and no matter how hard it was, I would wake up tomorrow and not have to do it again. I was running the event to raise money for a charity close to my heart – Parkinson’s UK – and I know that my poor dad who has been diagnosed for nearly 6 years now, wakes up early most mornings with some pain or other caused by the condition. As I say, I know it’s a cliché, but reminding myself why I was doing this really helped me dig in. I knew I just needed to get to the next CP and refuel / rest. As at all the checkpoints the volunteers were stars, nothing was too much for them, they’d fill your water bottles / bladder for you (usually a self-serve job I find), they cared about how you were feeling, they had a range of food to choose from, some homemade and they just generally kept your spirits up. They seemed very genuine with their encouragement and I can’t speak highly enough of them.

I can tell you how tough this one was – about half way round I thought this race report may start with the words “spoiler alert, I DNF’d this one”, but happily that’s not the case. This was by far the furthest I had ever intended to run and was pretty ambitious of me. The longest run I’d done so far in training was 40 miles and adding best part of a marathon onto that looked quite an ask. But the chance to run along the beautiful Stour Valley Path following the river, on what turned out to be, a lovely sunny day certainly sweetened the pill. Anyway back to the start, a 4am alarm call, followed by force feeding porridge, toast and coffee down my neck was the order of the day. I actually felt quite well rested, having had about 6 hours sleep, which is not bad for the night before a big race. Simon Forbes very kindly picked me up to drive me to the race start, just over an hour away in Newmarket. The organisation pre-race had been excellent; everything you needed to know was provided, so I felt well-armed with a detailed map with checkpoints, cut-off times and pacing guides annotated on it. The slick organisation continued at the pub in Newmarket with a relatively painless registration, mandatory kit check and pre-race briefing. The only scary moment was when I realised I had not changed into my trail shoes, which were at that point now sitting in the back of the minibus inside my finish line drop bag!!! Anyway Simon came to the rescue and ran off to grab them whilst I tried to pay attention to the info on bulls (more of them later), ploughed fields and train tracks.

CP3 to CP4 was a weird one. Despite the fact it was definitely one of the hilliest sections (even after a nice steady flat first couple of miles), despite my previous wobbles, I started to feel much, much better. I even met this great guy I would eventually run a long couple of sections with called Neil. We reached CP4 where Neil’s entourage were waiting for him – popular guy! They even had a J20 from the pub for him – nice change from the energy drinks he said. I temporarily lost him here as he put on a fresh t-shirt (seriously it was like the Tour de France with his support team) and the colour change confused me. It was at this checkpoint however that the dreaded cut-offs started to rear their heads. There was some confusion in my head about how I’d got so close to them as I knew I had plenty of time left to complete the last 19 miles (5.5 hours), but it seemed they were creeping up on me. I was only 25 mins within the cut-off time so I put my foot down and cracked on!

Everything in place, we all walked up the road to the start line about 100 yards from the pub; so I guess this was it. Simon gave me good luck hug and off we went. The usual jockeying for position (Newmarket gag there) was a little more important here than some races, as about 1 mile in, the race turns up onto Devil’s Dyke, which is a narrow mound with steep sides, so minimal chance to overtake for about 7 miles. I kept myself towards the back, having no illusions about my pace targets that day. Apart from my obligatory tumble over a tree root (it’s almost a tradition now) I settled into the race.


Neil and I ran together for most of the next section, but he began to struggle with the running bit and had to walk a lot. Mind you, his walking pace was so fast, it wasn’t much slower than my shuffle. This section started to take in part of the Stour Valley Marathon route, which we had both done in June, so it was quite familiar, which helped. According to my watch, at only about half a mile from the next CP, Neil and I separated as he wanted to walk the rest of the section. Concerned about cut-offs and knowing that if I walked I would probably not finish, we agreed to see each other at the CP and I bimbled off ahead. I was however a bit confused as I was sure from the previous race, it was further than half a mile and that turned out to be the case. So 1.5 miles later I stumbled into CP5 about 20 mins ahead of the cut-off. Thankfully the volunteers said not to worry as the sweeper was a good hour behind me so that took the pressure off. I waited for Neil and checked in on him (his team were also really nice to me too, asking how I was getting on) and then cracked on – 7 miles to the last CP6.

Soon enough I entered Brantham, the finish town. A couple of marshals drove past me and beeped their horn encouragingly, and then all of a sudden, there were marshals everywhere helping me navigate in the dark across the final few roads to the end. I swear at this point I nearly broke down with emotion, but I just about held it in. My “thank you” to each of them was a bit wobbly! 100 yards from the end I rang my wife (who’d brilliantly kept me going with motivational texts all day) and told her I was coming in. I ran across the line in 15hrs 20mins and could not have been happier to see anyone than Nic. A big smile, a hug and a kiss and she placed a beer in my hand – perfect! I may have been nearly the last to finish but with over a third of the field as DNS / DNF, I am happy to have just crossed the line. A shower, a race T-shirt and a medal later, we drove home to Bedford. I even saw Neil about half a mile from the end still going! All in all, a fantastic event, fabulously well organised, some of the best volunteers you’ll find anywhere and something to be proud of. I’ve raised nearly £2000 for Parkinson’s and achieved something I would never have even contemplated a few years ago. Thanks go to the team behind the SVP100. You will not find a better organised race, indeed many of the bigger ones are not as good and are twice the price. At £60 this is one of the best value, best organised races out there – do it!

About half a mile into this section was Gravel Hill, which I’d gone up at the marathon so I knew it was a walk up. About half way up, speedy walker Neil passes me! Good to see he was doing OK though and he said his plan was to fast walk the rest of the course – about 12 miles. I wished him well and said I’d see him at the end, and as the course evened out, I pushed on.

Just not me again…honest.

It was getting dark now and so about half way through the section I switched my head torch on (and then replaced the batteries as I realised the ones in there were pants). It all started to get a bit strange at this point. Navigating was a completely different proposition. Thank goodness the team had put out some glow sticks to help. But because of the disorientation, I was also getting concerned I’d missed CP6. 7 miles came and went and I knew from the marathon I was nowhere near a town or village so where was the CP going to be? I ploughed on though as I could see the markings of the course so I knew that at least, I was not lost. I thought ‘At least there are only 5 miles left if I have missed the CP and I have my Garmin to prove I did the course!’ Finally, I saw a red light that kept flashing to bright white and headed for it. CP6 was as lovely as the others; I was cheered on in the last quarter of a mile by this really nice woman and then they properly looked after me. I was told not to worry about the cut-off (which technically I was on the cusp of) and that I should be fine to make the next section. It was a straight run along the river for 5 miles. I asked about the distance and they said ‘yes, sorry, turns out that last section was more like 9 miles, not 7’! ‘OK so less than 5 to go yes?’ ‘No – still 5’. So, basically it was 64.5 miles (104kms) in total! Apparently there were still 5 people behind me so I wasn’t last. Right – last section let’s go! Hmm…so 400 yards in I enter a field with a big sign “BULL”. Its pitch black and I can only just see the river through my head torch, which I figured was my only rescue place if the bull decided to investigate this little will o’ the wisp light in his field! Anyway I dug in and started to chant out loud my little internal mantra that had kept me going most of the day when on my own – which I am sure the two people I ran past in the dark must have thought a little strange. My mantra was simple “I am steady and I am strong”, but it worked for me. Mind you, when at one point I realised it had morphed into “I am heavy and I am slow” I realised my inner demons had tried to take over! The last 5 miles went OK, although I could see a head torch about half a mile behind me and I convinced myself that was the sweeper so I pushed on! I definitely took a small wrong turn in the pitch black as at one point I encountered arrows pointing the way I had just come! But I stayed on track after that and just before 10 pm I hit 100km. Woo-hoo! Except, of course, that wasn’t the end, as I now know. I had another 2.5 miles to go and just over 30 mins to do it before the 10:30 pm cut-off! I carried on, ready to have a barney if I didn’t get in before the cut-off, given the extra distance, but all was fine. It was a bit weird to enter the last field and have a 100 sheep’s eyes looking at you, but all good.


Harriers’ eyes on the prize at ‘Round Norfolk Relay’

Team Harriers had predicted an ambitious start time of 12:00pm, alongside two other clubs; City of Norwich A and Cambridge and Coleridge. So, rather weirdly, Adam Mills lined up on the start line with only 2 other runners and a handful spectators, ready to tackle the 16.8 mile leg to Hunstanton and get the squad off to a flying start.

Established in 1987, the Round Norfolk Relay attracts teams from all over the country to compete over 196 miles of 17 stages circumventing Norfolk. Having used the event as a mixed ability team race in previous years, this year, driven by Richard Watson, Anna Folland and Kevin Willett, the club decided to make a concerted effort to enter a strong team with a view to winning the much coveted, and ridiculously large, Club Trophy.

However, the best laid plans often suffer the odd mishap and this was no exception. Adam decided that 16 miles wasn’t quite far enough to run so he, and a fellow runner, took a five mile detour just to make things exciting. This meant he ran further than he had ever run in his life (although still at a pace most of us could only dream of) before handing the baton over to Gill Fullen for her 14 mile second leg.

This meant that each team of 17 runners had to comprise 5 females and 6 masters in any category or gender. In fact, this played right into the hands of our club as the majority of our best runners are either female or masters. Some of our secret weapons even fell into both categories, although I shall name no names!

Bonus loop

As always, Gill stormed off along the Norfolk coast running a record time for her leg, taking the female honours for the stage and running the 2nd best age grade score of the whole relay…. Shame on you for thinking she would have done anything else! Whilst a hard act to follow, our 3rd leg runner was not to be outdone and Sally Cartwright, on a 5.8 mile leg that was ideally suited to her off- road talents, also took female honours with a new leg record and put Harriers back on course with a more than respectable start in their quest for east coast glory.

Starting and finishing in Kings Lynn, teams are given start times based upon their handicap scores/predicted times for each leg, in an attempt to ensure that all 50+ teams finish between 09.00 and 10.00 on the Sunday morning. This meant that some teams started as early as 05.30 in the morning on the Saturday and were well into their respective strides before the Harriers team had even arrived in Norfolk.

Leg 4, saw Danny Winn storm through 11.1 miles of unknown coastal path. He had agreed to do the leg at very short notice and, despite a few hesitations at crossing points, ran a great time to hand over to team captain Anna Folland for the 10.8 mile 5th leg. Anna made it 3 out of 3 for the Harriers Ladies with another 1st place and female leg record before handing over to Gary Finch for his rather hilly, 7.9 mile stage 6. Gary ran a strong leg passing the baton onto Kirstie Meeton who, with night drawing in, again took ladies honours in her 9.2 mile stage before David Sharman took over to run the baton into Great Yarmouth on his 7.5 mile stage 8. It was after 9hrs 30mins of almost solitary running for the team members that Steve Horton took over. He started the second half of the race; a small matter of a 17.8 mile 9th leg, and began the lonely night shift. With the orange glow of the hazard lights on top of Keith’s car and bike support for much appreciated company, the weather took a turn for the worse. It was time for the Harriers to dig deep. Jerry Pullinger (14.6 miles), Andy Palombella (12.4 miles), Ian Hammett (19.7miles) and Kev Willett (13.2 miles) were responsible for the graveyard shifts, passing checkpoints in the middle of nowhere which were dismantled as soon as the baton was passed over. Jerry and Andy ran so well that they gave Ian the luxury of being the first to spot, and then catch, another team and at 4am on Sunday morning, with 3 miles left of his leg, he passed his adversary; a feat wildly celebrated by the support car, which blasted out a tune from Adam and the Ants!! Kevin now had a few other teams in his sights and he began to reel them in further before handing over to Paul Furness, who started the 14th, 7.2 mile leg in darkness and finished it in daylight. The team now set about catching as many teams as possible. 10

By this time the checkpoints were buzzing as a multitude of teams gathered and exchanged batons whilst being cheered on by their fellow teammates. With the Harriers team now right in the mix, Paolo Basso (leg 15, 10.59 miles) and Sally Johnston (leg 16, 5.49miles) completed the penultimate legs before Alastair Fadden was given the 11.7 mile glory leg and the job of bringing the baton home. The team was exhausted but jubilant as all of Team Harriers, some of whom had had little or no sleep and had supported their fellow runners throughout Norfolk, gathered at the finish waiting for Alastair’s arrival. He crossed the line at 09:55 on Sunday morning, meaning the team had completed the course in 21:55:54 hours. The results were announced; Harriers had won the Club Trophy and finished 4th overall!! Considering the standard of the clubs that enter the competition, this was an amazing and fantastic achievement and well worth all the effort that had been put in. Many thanks must go to all of the organisers and support crew, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible. Keith Lakin, Chris and Michelle Fadden, Steve Crane, Jutta Crane, Mark Tinkler, Linda Watson, Richard Watson, Angie Kay, and Neil and Jen Lovesey, all provided invaluable support on the run throughout the day and night by either cycling, driving, timekeeping, supporting at handover, marshalling, not to mention providing morale boosting encouragement and friendly, great company! Ian Hammett Bring on the next Round Norfolk Relay!! The post script to the event is, that sadly, Darryl Davis, a Runner from City of Norwich, collapsed on his stage near Cley and passed away. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his family, friends and fellow CONAC members.


Sam Baylis gets her GB vest! It was a great shock when I received an email to say I had qualified for the Olympic distance, ETU Kitzbuhel European Championship. It was always on my wish list to represent Team GB but I wasn’t expecting it soon, if ever. It was a tough decision to make; the race was only 14 weeks away and it was going to need an enormous commitment to training. I knew the course was going to be tough, but I knew I was about to go to Mallorca on a training camp, which couldn’t have come at a better time; those hills and mountains were just what I needed to give me the confidence to go for it. So the decision was made and, having the support from family made it much easier for me to focus. So training started and so did the early morning alarm clocks.

The date of the race came around quickly. We arrived late evening in Austria on the Thursday so, we had Friday to run one lap of the run route, to register, get bike built, collect race packs, attend race briefing, GB photos and drive the cycle route. We also got to watch the elite race, which was fantastic, and see Alaistair Brownlee win gold. It was a great day but, in hindsight, I should have rested more as my legs were tired after walking around all day. On top of that, my nerves were getting the better of me and eating became difficult. Race day came and the temperature was rising; I’d never felt nerves like this before. I was completely out of my comfort zone knowing what competition I was up against, but somehow I just had to get out there and try to enjoy it.


At the start, they had us hanging around in the pens for a while and it was getting hot and I couldn’t wait to get in the lake and start. The music and count downs for each age group got the heart pounding and then it was my turn. My swim went ok; I perhaps could have pushed myself more but nerves were getting the better of me. I was pleased with my sighting, but felt quite disorientated getting out of the water. Transition went to plan until running to the mount line, my race belt came off. However, that was a minor problem compared to another lady who ran to the mount line and then realised her bike shoes were still in transition!

Straight onto the bike with a flat road before a sharp turn right into my 1st of 6 climbs. Each climb was followed by a nice downhill. However, some of these were so technical they had orange mattresses around the trees. This, we were told at briefing, was because there had been quite a few accidents and the hospital was full and didn’t have any more room for us! Very reassuring! The weather was hot and I was feeling it on my last climb. Off the bike, into the run. I was feeling really strong on the first lap, but again the heat got to me and I had to make use of the 3 water stations and water sponges on the last lap. I was just so pleased to finish.

This race was a completely different ball game to what I was used to, but as Gill reminded me, ‘you’re up against the best.’ And, at the end, I could say ‘I did it!’ It was a tough one and I didn’t come last. Overall, it was an amazing, memorable experience; the scenery was picture postcard, the support was great as were the other athletes. The after-party at the top of the mountain with a beautiful sunset as a backdrop, was something else. I had had reservations about doing this but I’m so glad I did. I have to take this opportunity to say thank you so much to my friends for all their support and for the advice I’ve had from the more experienced athletes. It all helped me no end. I have, of course, to give special thanks to my lovely husband Andrew, and my mum and dad for being there for me. Would I recommend a European Championships to other Harriers? YES DEFINITELY!....and here’s how: http://www.britishtriathlon.org/great-britainteams/age-group/how-to-qualify


Calling all adrenaline junkies! Alastair Fadden gets down & dirty with cyclocross With running, triathlon and duathlon on an all time high, what’s the next big thing on the block? Well if you ask me, it’s going to be cyclocross. Why? Because it caters for all ages, it’s a fabulous spectator sport, it also allows you to get on your bike in the depths of winter and, best of all, it’s a little bit bonkers! So what is CX racing? Cyclo-cross (sometimes cyclocross, CX, CCX, cyclo-X or  ‘ cross) is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or “World Cup” season is October–February), and consist of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction, and remount. Races for senior categories are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. The sport is strongest in the traditional road cycling countries such as Belgium (Flanders in particular), France and the Netherlands. What about the bikes? Cyclo-cross bicycles generally resemble road racing bicycles. Cyclo-cross-specific frames differ with their wider tyre clearances, knobby tyres, cantilever or disc brakes, and lower gearing. Cables are generally routed on the upper side of the top tube, which allows the rider to carry the bike comfortably on the right shoulder through portage sections and prevents cable contamination by dirt. My CX bike is very standard and was ‘accidentally’ purchased from ebay for around £200! (yes, it was accidentally – another story) Locally where and who can compete? Locally we have the Central CX League which consists of around 10 races based from Oxford across to Welwyn Garden City with our local races at Milton Keynes and Harlington. Very much like our 3 counties Cross Country, they are all run by individual cycling clubs - with a team of volunteers setting up the course, marking out the route with up to 7k of poles and tape. In order to complete the league, you are required to do 6 out of the 10 races. There are different junior, youth, senior and vet races for men and ladies. There is also a novice race which I’m hoping to tempt a few of you to enter next September!!! (The Central league allows Mountain Bikes.)

So why is CX such a good spectator sport? Well, because the laps are short; normally taking around 7 to 9 minutes depending on the terrain, distance and weather conditions and the courses tend to weave back and forth with super tight turns and steep drops and climbs – you therefore get to see all the racers many times. With constant overtaking, different people’s technical skills come into their own, and it can be a real dog fight out there! I remember finishing the Milton Keynes race when the heavens opened and everyone was soaked to the skin. I saw Sarah (my wife) and expected a frosty reception but instead, she said with a broad smile ‘the worse the weather conditions, the better the racing’. Now how many sports can say that? Personally because my technical skills are a bit poor, I do better on the drier days but, as I’m never going to win , I prefer the super muddy ones at the expense of a few places. Is it Bonkers? Totally! For anyone who has been skiing and loved it, the feeling is very similar. Once you can do a lap without falling off, it’s time to push harder (and repeat). At the end of a race everyone has a bigger and better story of mechanical problems, tumbles, near misses and accidental offpiste racing. Sadly it’s a cup of tea and a cake rather than the après-ski, but you can’t have it all! CX racing is really tough and a brutal workout. It’s often cold, wet and a total mudfest , but somehow rather wonderful. Is it the next big thing? Milton Keynes was lucky enough to host a UCI World Cup event in November which hosted some of the best live racing I think I’ve ever seen. This was the first time that an event of its type has ever been held outside mainland Europe where professional CX racing is huge and very profitable for the professionals. With massive crowds at the World Cup and increasing numbers competing at Central league, why not join me and fight it out for the wooden spoon next season. Alastair Fadden If you have children that are keen to cycle, talk to Alison Cooper or Sam Baylis as they help run a fabulous Go-Ride session in Bedford on a Saturday. It covers cyclocross, track racing and duathlon.

When the last race before yours has finished, you have time to jump on the course and do a lap or two. You can work out how to negotiate the obstacles and survive the steep drops. If you have a spare bike or wheels (I don’t) you can put them in the pits which you pass twice on each lap. You regularly see racers running along with their bike on their shoulder with punctures or broken parts (I have even had to finish a race carrying my bike without a crank!). At some races you see the fast guys changing their bike on each lap, with a helper cleaning the mud out of the brakes and tyres ready for the next lap. Photos by Billy Fadden



Justin Burrell’s account of Wimbleball Half Ironman June 2014 as part of Harriers’ winning relay team The team: Swim: Bike: Run:

Simon North Justin Burrell Marianne Williamson

Firstly I have to mention Gill Fullen who laid the gauntlet for fielding ‘Team Harriers’ in the Team Relay at Wimbleball by suggesting we not just enter, but win! True Gill style. No pressure then. The final preparation for the race was less than perfect with our original designated rocket runner Ian Hammett crocked with injury. A week or so to go, Simon and I were posting on the forum and trying to persuade any fast running Harrier to give up a weekend to run a bloody hard half marathon around the hilly semi- offroad Wimbleball course. It transpired that Marianne was attending the event to support Keith and we heard that she was happy to run but was not apparently running that well (we’ll come back to that) and if we found anyone else faster then let them do it. We didn’t, so Marianne was our runner for the last leg. We spoke to Marianne and just told her to not worry about the pressure of performing as well as speedy Hammett and that we were grateful just to be able to compete at all. Race morning was pretty intense in the Harriers’ camp with last minute preparation for bikes and kit, not only for our relay team, but all the individual Harriers who were also taking part. Wetsuit on for Simon and the rest of the Harriers and final instruction in the bike transition zone. The swimmers were called to the water, I wished Simon and the other Harriers good luck and waited with the rest of the relay bike leg competitors in the changeover zone. I heard the first wave of swimmers start and waited for the second wave, which included Simon and the rest of the relay runners. The elites were soon out of the water and transition was getting pretty hectic. I cheered Gill through transition but knew it would be a while before Simon came through as he’d started in the second swim wave. I spotted him and frantically waved in his direction, took his timing chip and ran to the bike rack and out of transition. I believe we were the 4th Relay team out of transition but there was no way of identifying relay entrants once we out on the bike course. I knew the relay teams were all racked together so when I returned to rack the bike, I would know what position we were in. Photos by Billy Fadden


Out on the course it was pretty much uphill for the first 15 minutes and had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t a 10mile time trial and needed to resist the urge to push too early. I was passing most riders in front of me that had started in the earlier waves, which was pleasing, but had realised that I had perhaps fitted a too-high-geared cassette on my rear wheel as I was struggling to climb the steepest hill on lap 1! I realised I had not trained enough on continuous hills around the Bedfordshire flatlands to ride as fast as I would have hoped, but felt it was still going fairly well. Nearing the end of lap 1, I caught Gill and knew she was riding very well with some of the elite riders behind her. We had a quick natter on a slow winding hill then I pushed on for the second lap. The hills were hurting more than I expected and I was catching faster riders nearer the front of the race so it became harder to pass them as easily. I dropped my chain on the last hill before the descent to transition but managed to stay calm while I quickly put it back on without too much hassle. Now I was wondering where I was in the relay standing. Into the last descent and I just gave it everything and clocked just over 45mph crossing the dam. Into transition and was pleased to see not too many bikes were back, but best of all, the relay racking was empty. This meant we were leading! I nearly ran the wrong way to Marianne and missed the transition tent, but we managed to swap timing chips and race belts as I gave her a hug and told her the good news. She was off.

the other Harriers that were starting their 4-lap half marathon. We were fairly confident she was holding the lead for our relay team but were never sure as it’s difficult to tell in these circumstances who is on what lap. She entered the final loop to the finish line and we heard the commentator say “Here comes our first relay team; Bedford Harriers” and we knew we had done it! We had a big group hug and felt extremely proud of what we all had achieved and were thankful that Marianne’s supposedly ‘poor’ running had brought home the final leg. We were also very grateful for the opportunity the Harriers’ Committee had given us. Simon continued to lead us in the Harriers official cheerleading team as most of the Harrier individual runners were now onto the race finish. All of them were running really well and, I think, enjoying our enthusiastic support! As they finished we soon realised that other Harriers were finishing with top placings in their age categories. In addition to our team win, Gill won her age group and finished 6th lady overall, Alison Cooper and Nora Haggart finished 2nd in their respective age groups and Richard Piron, 3rd in his category. It was all topped off by Billy Fadden winning the Iron Kids race. I have perhaps never a seen such a proud dad as Alastair was that day!

“The Running Club with a Triathlon Problem”

I walked out of the transition and a number of spectators were consoling me saying ‘Hard luck’, thinking I had retired from the race. I had great pleasure in telling them ‘No, I am part of a relay team and we are leading’. Marianne was running well. She looked strong and had literally a beaming smile every time she ran past us as we cheered her and all

The camaraderie between fellow Harriers, not just in our relay team, made it into an absolutely fantastic weekend and one to cherish for many years. At the awards presentation we were described as ‘The running club with a Triathlon problem’ by the presenter after picking up the 5th award for the club. I know the Harriers have some teams entered for Challenge Weymouth 30th Anniversary event and I am sure you will all have as much fun as we did. I would like to wish you all the best of luck with your training and races later this year. Justin Burrell


with Sue Pack and Steve Gaunt, I did my first swim, bike and run. I had heard stories of jelly legs and I have to say those first few runs where awful; my legs really didn’t feel like my own. We never ran far, but it felt like an eternity. I can’t say exactly when that improved, but it wasn’t long before I didn’t think twice about pulling on trainers and finishing most bike rides off with a short run.

Making an Impossible Goal a Reality

When I first joined the joined the Harriers 5.5 years ago, there was much talk of Ironman, Nice, and I thought, I want to do that. With that in mind, I almost signed up to the Wimbleball 70.3, three or four years ago. I was in a state of indecision; I could barely propel myself along one length of the swimming pool and, more to the point, would I be capable of running a half marathon after all that swimming and biking? Christine Parello’s Sunday bike rides of around 20 to 25 miles had been enough to leave me exhausted and sleeping for the rest of the day. The entries closed before I had made my mind up so the decision was made for me. I consoled myself with the thought that at least I would have time to learn to swim properly before signing up the following year. I went along to some Harriers’ swim sessions early on Saturday mornings, where Angie Kay convinced me that I wouldn’t drown or inhale half the pool if I put my face in the water. I then attended the Harriers swimming lessons with Michelle at Bedford school early on Sunday mornings. I could just about make it to the other end of the pool without switching back to doggie paddle, but not well. Then, other commitments took over and my aspirations were put on the back burner.

In April, a group of us went down to Exmoor to do a course recce on the bikes. On arrival at Wimbleball lake, it was cold and the rain was unrelenting. On a break in the clouds with the rain starting to ease, we set off on the bike course. As the slowest in the group, I had the course loaded into my Garmin. Just as well, as it wasn’t long before I had lost sight of everyone, but I still managed one of the lap course. I have always been confident of cycling downhill - no need for brakes- and although I struggle with uphill, I can generally make up for that downhill. I had been warned that a very steep downhill section ended in a T-junction and a sharp left hand turn gave on to a busy road. If anything, these warnings had been underplayed; I actually found myself using my brakes on the downhill this time. Then, at the very steepest uphill places on the course, I had succumbed and dismounted and walked the remainder but, I was still pleased, as I had managed to get back on and begin pedalling even on fairly steep ones. But by this time I was cold and wet so decided against going out again to do a second lap, or even cycling out to meet the others coming back. It didn’t take me long to regret that decision; I was soaked through and chilled to the bone and I didn’t have a change of clothes with me. I was far too much of a novice to be confident enough to start dismantling my own bike ready to be packed back in the car. All I could really do was wait and shiver. When the others got back, I went for a short run with Nora and Alastair (still in the teeming rain) to get a feel for the terrain we would encounter on the run course. We then went on a further cycle ride the next morning on some more challenging hills, cycling out and back from the village back to the lake. Being the slowest, everyone came back for me regularly to ensure I didn’t get lost, but amazingly for me, I wasn’t dropped half as badly as I expected, especially considering all I’d done the day before.

Then, last September, home alone one evening with a glass of wine, thinking about my goals and target races for the coming year, I decided that what I really needed to force me to master swimming properly once and for all was a challenge, a goal, so I signed up for Wimbleball half ironman. Surely, I thought, if I could train for and run a marathon, then I should also be able to train to cycle the required 56 miles. All I really needed to do was learn to swim. I posted news about my entry on Facebook and one comment in particular unnerved me a little. ‘Wow, it’s a serious 70.3 for your first one’ from Gill Fullen. What exactly had I let myself in for? I wondered, as I went back and studied the Wimbleball website a little more closely. ‘The toughest 70.3 in the world’ according to one source. Oops! Still, I was pretty determined to give it my best shot, and started my quest to learn to swim the very next day. I’m sure for those observing, my best attempts probably looked a lot like drowning; at least it certainly felt like it. I managed about 8 lengths in 45 minutes with lots of stopping and gasping and plenty of recovery after each length. I then went along to the beginner technique classes run by Noel and Gill, as well as the Saturday Harriers’ swim session. In November, I felt brave enough to step up from Trinity to Robinson pool. My technique was still quite poor, but swimming 3 times a week with lots of help and tips and advice had already improved it a lot. I managed 22 lengths of Robinson in 45 mins. As many of you know, a half Ironman, or Ironman 70.3, is made up of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 miles bike and a half marathon to finish, with strict cut offs at each section. At the beginning of February, I swam 1.2 miles or 58 lengths of Robinson pool in 1 hr 10 mins. This was the exact time I needed. Although I knew I would need to swim faster, everyone was telling me it would be easier to swim in a wetsuit. That came as good news as I was sure I could now complete the distance. My training now concentrated on improving my time and ensuring I would still have enough energy to cope with the bike and the run.

Relaxing at Watchet after a hard weekend training Back in Bedford, my swimming was going well. My bike training I felt was OK, the bike recce had really opened my eyes to the hills I had to conquer, but I now had a new enthusiasm for hills in my training. I was trying to push up them much faster and in too high a gear in order to make them harder. My run training hadn’t been going well for a while and I was relying a lot on run-walking, but I felt even if I only just made all the other cut offs, I would still have 3 hours to complete the half marathon. I wasn’t too concerned. All I wanted to do was finish. I had initially had the intention of doing a sprint tri at some point during my training, but it never worked out that way. So in May, with 5 weeks to go to the big day, I entered my first triathlon. The standard distance at St Neots; A 1500m river swim, a 45k bike and a 10k run. In preparation for this, I went open water swimming at Box End the weekend before when Noel Jones had very kindly offered to go round with me.

A major part of triathlon training is practising the disciplines one after the other. I had done several swim to bike sessions from very early on, and didn’t consider this to be challenging. In February, along


At St Neots, I was extremely nervous at the start of the river swim because the water was very cold and it wasn’t long before I was right at the back of the field. I wasn’t too worried though as I had noticed how slowly the person at the back was swimming and knew I could catch him up once I managed to acclimatise and start swimming properly. I was only swimming a stroke or two before having to lift my head out of the water as the cold water was quite literally taking my breath away and bringing on an asthma attack. The swim was two 750m laps. By the time I reached the turnaround point it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to get my breathing back under control and finish the course. A canoeist alongside me initially suggested I take a break and hold onto his canoe but, in the end, he took the decision out of my hands and towed me back to start. There I was helped out of the water and told to make my way to the medical tent. I insisted I would be fine once I had my inhaler, and asked if it would be OK to carry on to do the bike and run as I really wanted to get a feel for doing all three disciplines back to back. They agreed I could continue which, in hindsight, might not have been one of my better decisions; the bike was extremely windy and hard work and I still couldn’t bring my asthma under control. If the bike was tough, the run I found almost impossible. The marshals were friendly, as were the other runners. Everyone I passed on the bike came back past me fairly quickly on the run. If I was struggling to control my asthma on the bike, it was nothing compared to the struggle on the run. I kept asking myself why I was putting myself though this. It wasn’t as if I would finish anyway having been taken out of the swim but I was determined to get to the finish line. I knew if I didn’t, it would be harder to complete Wimbleball. I don’t think I finished last, but almost; I think there was one person behind me who came over and shook my hand. I spent the rest of that day in A&E recovering from the asthma attack! It was clear I needed more open water swim practice. That wasn’t the first time swimming had caused an asthma attack, but it was the worst. At Wimbleball, I knew I would need good weather with relatively warm water if I was to succeed. I was finding that wearing a wetsuit was making me a lot faster in the water, so I was no longer worried about meeting the swim cutoff. I knew my sighting was poor, but it didn’t concern me, because I felt I was fast enough to compensate and still be out of the water in time. Whilst I was confident in my swimming, (providing the weather was on my side) I was nervous of the bike, not because of the distance, but because of the gradient of the hills. I had suffered a lot with injury and asthma so my running was not great, but I wasn’t too worried about that. If I got that far, I would have three hours to complete the 13.1 miles; I could almost walk it if I needed to. But I also knew it was long, hilly way on tired legs. The day finally arrived. I had chosen not to swim in the lake the day before, as I was worried if anything went wrong it would unnerve me for the day itself. Most of the Wimbleballers and support crew had gone for a meal the evening before and, after some final advice, I was as ready as I was going to be. Nervous, but equally sure I could do it. The swim started and I seemed to be managing OK. I began to notice very slight asthma symptoms from just before half way, but I stayed calm, eased off a little and tried to keep a steady pace. I fell quite far behind most of the rest of the field, but when I checked my watch I was confident I had made the time needed. However as I came closer to the swim exit, I started to panic, I couldn’t actually see where the exit was supposed to be and I had fallen too far behind the pack to just follow whoever was in front. As panic set in, I became slower and slower, until in the end I was swimming in my old doggy style, which meant I was barely moving. I got out of the water just after swim cut off. In reality I knew it wasn’t the panic that cost me the race, it was my poor sighting. I had swum 1.4 miles, instead of the required 1.2 mile. Had I managed to sight and stay on course without the need to keep stopping and re- directing myself, I wouldn’t have fallen so far behind and got into a panic. According to my Garmin I had swum that distance in 51

minutes. The other 19 + mins had been wasted due to bad sighting skills and panic. I was angry I had let myself down, and upset that I had let down everybody who had helped me get that far. But every cloud has a silver lining. I got to see and cheer on the other Harriers and hang out with the other supporters and also pick up some sunburn. Discussing my frustration and disappointment with Steve Crane on the way home the following day, I declared that I knew I could do it, if I could just master sighting. ‘Well do it then’ he said. So, I signed up for the Cowman two weeks later. For two weeks I focused my training almost exclusively on sighting, spending as much time as I could in Box End. By the time the Cowman came round, I was confident I could sight. I wasn’t quite last out of the water and I didn’t finish last on the bike. It was harder than I had imagined; cycling with relentless effort for 56 miles as it had now been 5 weeks since I had gone over 30 miles on the bike. It had also been five weeks since my distance training for the run. My strategy for the run was simple; I wanted to finish and I wanted to avoid another asthma attack. So I walked through every water station until I had finished my drink, walk/running the rest of the course. I wasn’t regimented in the walks and runs, just running for as long as I felt I could, then getting my recovery before going again. Towards the end of the first lap of the run, I was pleased to see my daughter and her boyfriend who had come out to support me. They asked how long it would be until they saw me again and I told them they could expect to see me again between 40 and 45 minutes later. They tell me I was on time for every lap. On the last lap I saw my mother who had also come to offer support, as did Steve Crane who did a great job of looking after me at the finish. So, I did it! It may not have been the race I had wanted to do but it was the same distance, and I managed it within all the same cut offs as Wimbleball. When I joined this club 5 year ago, I found the support of so many individuals in the club overwhelming; it is what makes our club great. But the support I received once I declared I had entered this triathlon was amazing. There are far too many to mention but, in particular, Gill for taking the time to help me with my swimming and for pointing me in the direction of Tilly at Lake View Osteopathy, when I couldn’t run. To Steve Gaunt for helping me with the training schedule, particularly when injury meant I couldn’t run, and to Steve Crane for encouraging me to go for it after my failure at Wimbleball, and also to the many others for the help and advice and training plans. If I found the club to be supportive of my running, the support for my first attempt at triathlon has been amazing, and made what seemed like an impossible goal a reality. Just as with running, you don’t have to be fast to compete at triathlon, you don’t even have to be any good at swimming. People will help you achieve your goal, you just to have to want it enough to train. So if you have ever felt you would like to try a tri, go for it.

You can do it. Lorena Henderson


A step in the right direction. A beginner’s view of the Harriers My daughter and I were looking for a new challenge; something we could do together. We looked in the paper and saw Bedford Harriers running club were advertising for beginners and giving details of an open evening. We turned up and were given all the information and details of when to attend. The first night we turned up, everyone was put into groups and we were assigned to the complete beginners. First, there was the warm up, which nearly killed us, before we even started to run. Then it was run a minute, walk a minute (we hadn’t realised a minute was sooooo long). In each subsequent session, the running part was increased. Our coaches were full of encouragement and we quickly made friends with people in our group and arranged to meet up at weekends to support each other. It was amazing how quickly we all progressed. Then, our group was invited to join in with a fish and chip run starting from The Priors’ house, which turned out to be great fun. Our group got completely lost but eventually found our way back where, to our surprise, the fish and chip van was parked in the drive. Sitting in the garden devouring our well-earned supper - straight from the fryer on the van - tasted really good. Soon our coaches decided we were up to running 5k so we entered the Doug Anderson as a group, starting and finishing together. It was the first time for most of us, that we had ever run that distance without stopping so, to actually finish, gave us a real sense of achievement. Our coaches are great, giving lots of support and advice from shoes to races. They are all helpful and no question is too silly to ask. When we have mixed events with all the groups taking part, everyone encourages you. At Christmas, we joined in with the team races where we were all in different groups; we really enjoyed all the banter with the rival teams and, of course, the buffet upstairs in the bar - my kind of running! It wasn’t long before we moved up to the next group. This was a challenge to start with as the pace was a bit faster and the hills were steeper but we’ve got to know even more people. Over our time with the Harriers, we have taken part in some of the park runs, a 10k and entered the cross countries. These have been very eventful, tiring, muddy and wet. We have even entered a half marathon in March. It’s lovely belonging to Harriers as everyone looks out for the other members and whoever you run next to, they will talk to you. You hear your name being shouted to encourage you when you are stuck on a hill, or push you to the finishing line (thanks Jack Chana!) and lots of muddy photos are taken when you are not looking your best, but who cares?

aches o c r u o l l a to Thank you track. n o s u t p e who have k

We have both come a long way since starting in May 2014. If you had told our family we would be competing in all these events last year, they would have fallen off their chairs laughing. Anne and Claire Adamson 20

Ian Williams gives a corporate angle on training which was originally published in Fetch magazine. But if you missed it, you’ve now got a second chance to read it here

Get A Good Relationship With Suppliers Our primary source of fuel when exercising is the glycogen in our muscles and liver – and with a balanced diet, most of us have enough to complete a half marathon before our supply runs low. Much further than this, and our bodies begin the switch to fat burning - a less efficient source of energy – resulting in a slow-down. You can partially offset this during the race with a good fuelling strategy, but bear in mind that your digestion is not as efficient mid-way through a race. The best-trained bodies maximise their glycogen storage, and maximise their ability to utilise fat, which in turn preserves glycogen levels.

Be Your Own Boss by Ian Williams Whenever there are elite distance runners on TV I wonder just how they manage to churn out mile after mile with an unending endurance. It’s clear they’re naturally talented, but they also work extremely hard to produce such fabulous achievements. We all work hard – whatever we do – and we all have to fit our running in around our nine to five lives. But these athletes are not just hard workers – they are the successful CEO’s of highly complex organisations, with a keen eye for understanding and extracting every last ounce of profit. They have built this organisation from the ground up, crafting each and every department to work harmoniously towards their goals. So grab a pastry and a coffee, make a window in your diary, and let’s gather by the water cooler for a quick power chat to help you take a more professional approach to your training. Going forward. Etc. Recruit The Right Workers The fibres in your muscles are classed as fast twitch and slow twitch. As you’d imagine, fast twitch fibres are more suited to quicker movements, like sprinting, and nodding at your boss. They create energy anaerobically (without oxygen), but they tire quickly. By contrast, slow twitch fibres are the ideal employees for distance running. With a good supply of oxygenated blood, they produce energy with minimal fatigue. Although you can’t convert your muscle fibres from fast to slow, you can go some way to training them up to take on some slow twitch characteristics. Get The Right Equipment Those of you in the IT department might be forgiven for thinking that mitochondria are the things you need to become a Jedi. But in fact they are the power plants in your muscles – converting glycogen and fat into energy. The great news is that you can encourage your body to beef them up, to help energy production. Long slow runs can help increase the size, enzyme activity and quantity of your mitochondria, which in turn means your muscles can produce more energy aerobically.

Minimise Wasted Effort In the leading group of any televised event, there will always be one contender who moves like a bag of angry cats. The issues and injury-risks associated with specific running styles are complex, but efficiency itself is a simple measure. The close relationship between oxygen consumption and energy production means that you can measure efficiency by looking at how much oxygen a runner needs to produce a given pace, just like you’d measure miles per gallon in the company Mondeo. A coaching session on running form might help you to discover that you waste some energy with the way you swing your arms or nod your head – but the more running you do, the more you’ll naturally adapt an efficient style. Maximise Your Capacity Although efficient energy production is important, it’s also vital to be able to produce a LOT of energy – and we’ve seen that this is closely linked to oxygen consumption. The maximum rate at which you can use oxygen (VO2Max) is in turn related to the volume of blood that your heart can pump, and the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry to your muscles. You can’t train your heart to pump faster, but you can make it stronger, so that it can achieve more with each beat. Similarly, unless you can train at altitude, you can’t raise the oxygen-carrying capabilities of your blood – but with regular training, your body can adapt to shut down non-essential functions like digestion, diverting more blood to your muscles. Treat Mondays And Fridays With The Same Respect After a hard week’s work, being able to bounce back and be ready for more is a useful skill. In running terms, you need to be able to do it after each run, after each week, and after every training cycle. Some of us have this ability naturally, and youth can be a big advantage, but experience and common sense count for plenty. Besides eating a good diet, and getting plenty of sleep, a well-structured training plan is key. Long-term success comes from executing a plan, and not from showboating for the benefit of the typing pool.

Keep Your Workspace Tidy Working muscles produce lactate when they metabolise carbohydrate – but contrary to office gossip, lactate isn’t your enemy – your muscles use it as a fuel. The problem is that as you increase the intensity of your training session, the rate of lactate production eventually exceeds the rate at which you can use it or clean it up. When this lactate threshold is reached, the enzymes needed to produce energy are shut down – your productivity drops, and you are forced to slow down. You can help your body adapt to clear lactate more efficiently by scheduling a weekly run at lactate threshold pace, which is typically somewhere between your 10k and half marathon pace. Don’t be tempted to push the pace – it’s all about stimulating your muscles to deal with lactate efficiently, and this happens most effectively at the threshold pace. Make Useful Connections It’s all very well to be bursting at the seams with mitochondria, but they need oxygen to work their magic, so you also need a good transport system to deliver it. The blood vessels in our bodies are an amazing road network, delivering oxygen, fuel and removing waste products. The smallest of these are called capillaries, with several bordering each muscle fibre. The excellent news is that the right sort of training can increase the density of capillaries, which in turn increases your ability to generate energy aerobically.


I first stumbled upon the UPR, as it’s affectionately known, quite by accident when I was in Kona in 2012. I’d been swimming the IM course from DigMe beach and was wandering back to the car, when a modest crowd started to gather along the main road. Stopping to watch, I was shortly confronted with the rather startling sight of a herd of athletes going for their morning run in their undies! Admittedly the sight of mega fit, muscled and bronzed bodies parading up and down the coast road, which forms part of the IM run course, usually with heart rate monitors strapped around their chests, was not at all unusual and was just one of the reasons I was more terrified than normal of the upcoming race. I had never been in a place so populated by six-packs, abs of steel and thighs radiating sinewy strength. But so many unclad bodies were definitely not normal and some of the underwear was possibly not a) entirely practical, b) comfortable or c) in any way appropriate. The race came into being when some Americans noted the mainly European (ahem, German) trend of wearing only speedos around town, for instance, to do the shopping, hang around cafes and generally exhibit more flesh than strictly necessary in inappropriate places. This was in stark contrast to the generally decently dressed local Hawaiian population. So a small group of people, displaying a typically triathlete sense of humour, decided to take the mick by running down Alii Drive in just their white Y-fronts. As is the way of such things, this soon became an annual event and has since ballooned to include thousands of people wishing to join together to shed their outer layers and run through the town centre to general applause, self-congratulation and the invidious clicking of camera shutters by the thousand. In fact this general exhibitionism is now all justified by being for a good cause, as entry fees go to support local charities, which go some way to lessening the impact of the hoardes of scantily clad triathletes which descend on the town each year. So this year I was ready! I had packed my UPR race kit, which most unusually fitted into roughly the space of a pocket handkerchief. In fact when it turned up in the post I laughed so much I was close to tears - no way were the union jack patterned mini lycra panties going to go anywhere near covering my decency. However elastic is a marvellous invention and in fact, when in place, said undies proved that less can indeed on occasion, be at least adequate. I decided to team up the undies with a union-jack themed bra to complete the ensemble. All I needed was a decent tan, which inevitably ended up as an amalgamation of shorts lines, tri-top strap lines and conspicuously white areas of underexposed English flesh.

On the morning of the run; the Thursday before the main event, we were all to assemble behind the King Kamehameha Hotel for the warm up and be counted. This year was to be an attempt on the Guinness Book of Records title for the most runners at one time in underwear and what better place to do it than somewhere where so many athletes were gathered in a hot climate. Seeing less than adequately dressed people emerging from cars and wandering through the streets so early in the morning was somewhat surreal. The runners take extensive liberties with the underpants theme and come in all sorts of weird and wonderful outfits, including outrageous wigs, Elvis costumes, teams all in matching undies, shared underwear and everything under the sun. There was definitely a sense of communal silliness as we all cavorted in random warmup exercises and sang the UPR song with gusto. Eventually we were off onto the sea front at a less than blistering pace, but to huge appreciation of the large crowd gathered all along the front. The run (jog at best) is probably about a mile in all, but speed is the last thing on any competitor’s mind. Being part of such a ludicrous occasion was the best way to take the tension out of the incredibly stressful race build-up week. I know many stay away from these events and decry them for making a mockery of the serious matter of the Ironman World Championships, but I loved the sense of team spirit, of all being in it together and the fact that several thousand 22

For those of you who can’t make it all the way to Hawaii, you might be interested in adding another event to your bucket list. Although I can’t claim to have taken part, the ‘Nudist race of Sopelana’ is a 5k run, all on wet sand, which takes place every year on what used to be my local beach - (I spent several years working in the Basque Country) - and it’s very much like the UPR race Gill has described but, without the underpants. It all started in the 90’s and attracted crowds of curious onlookers who considered it a bit of a joke but was then taken up by the Naturist Society of the Basque Country. Very soon it became a prestigious event in which not only naturists take part, but also other runners who just want to experience something different. Last year over 130 runners of all ages took part wearing just their running shoes but, hats and sunglasses are also permitted! But it’s not so new. Sparta is thought to be where the custom of exercising naked originated and, I believe, the original Olympians did so too. The competitors claim that you experience an entirely different sensation running ‘au naturel’ than running with your clothes on. For those of you who have experienced the joys of nude swimming, I think you may understand what they’re getting at.

normally strictly focused serious athletes could, for an hour or so, let down their guard and have a little fun. It’s not as if any of us were drinking and dancing the night away prerace! The pictures tell a way better story than I ever could with words and I hope they convey the feeling of fun that characterised the event from start to finish. I shall wear my UPR 2014 cap with pride. Gill Fullen

For more information: http://find.mapmuse.com/details/nakedruns/162231949/carrera-nudista-de-sopelana Lynne Greenard


On the Run Awards Edition Extra

Comrades marathon 2014

From when I can remember, I have always dreamt about running this iconic race. As I child I can recall sitting down in front of the television and watching the athletes toil in the african sun before finally crossing the finish line. Then to see the athletes not making it and coming in after the gun was truly heartbreaking. As all races it has its legends from Bruce Fordyce to Frith van der Merwe and the timeless Wally Hayward we loved them all. This year Renette and myself finally got to compete in the ultimate ultra distance race in the world. The race dates back to 1921 up to the present. The distances have varied over the years but presently stands at 56 miles. The race is from Durban to Pietermaritzburg (up run) or visa versa (down run). No medal for guessing which one we chose. Running the down run was amazing as it ends at the seaside city of Durban. Durban has golden beaches and beautiful hotels right on the beach. We started our quest in Dec 2013. The training plan we chose was the plan proposed on the Comrades website as the most likely to achieve our goal. The training was intense, especially on the weekends. The weekend almost always consisted of back to back long runs. This makes your body used to the idea of running on tired legs. This combined with regular hill work and run- walk training gave us the tools for completing this emotional race. As part of the final preparations we did 3 marathons in about 3 weeks. After this it was downhill. The race was on the 1st of June. We flew to Johannesburg and then travelled with family to Durban by car. The weather was great and so was the company. There were athletes from all round the globe. It was such a great atmosphere at the expo in Durban. On the morning of the race we got up at 2am, to get the bus to Pietermaritzburg (start). The 56 mile journey brought the enormity of the task home. We got to Martizburg in good time and had to sit and wait for the start in the high street. After the national anthem, a traditional African song and the traditional crowing cockerel the gun went at 5.30am. 12 hours of blood sweat and tears lay ahead. The first couple of hours went by uneventfully. We split up and Renette went ahead. The next incredible moment was to see the African sun rise. What an emotional time; I felt truly blessed to be alive and running in this incredible country. We constantly made sure about taking enough salt tablets and liquids. Carbs are easy, but salts are vital to maintain body functions. Our regime proved to be spot on. We did not get any cramps. We started really slowly and before we knew, the halfway mark appeared. Drummond was such a welcome sight. The first half of the race felt like an uphill race!!! The second half is mainly downhill. It was so magical to get to the outskirts of Durban with 21 km to go. You could see the sea and smell the ocean. From here it was just a question of putting one foot in front of the other and staying focused on the job at hand. Keep on eating and drinking no matter how you feel. After a day of running, in the dark African night I reached the stadium. About 500 metres from the stadium I stopped and walked about 10 yards just to absorb the moment and smiled knowing that it was a done deal. WE MADE IT. I knew Renette must be home already as I have not passed her. It was great to think we both accomplished our mission. I entered the stadium and the atmosphere knocked me back. It was like finishing the marathon at the the Olympics. After receiving my medal I was reunited with Renette and our family. It was an amazing experience and well worth doing. The race is for those who love the romance of the Ultra distance. Dirk Wolvaardt

January 2015

Will run for cake..... Harriers’ favourite watering holes Cheryl Bosher rates ‘The kiosk’ in Russell park, she says: ‘you sit outside (with a blanket if it’s cold) and sip hot chocolate and eat cake and feel like you’ve just conquered the world! (Lots of choice of great cakes too!) And if you are ever lacking motivation you’re likely to bump into Iva, who I see fairly often there!’

The ‘Fancy’ cake shop on Roff Avenue has absolutely superb cakes. Apparently the owner supplies most of the other cafes in the local area. We do our research! The best thing to say about the cafe at Perry, Grafham Water is that it’s very well located. You can get usual breakfasts and cakes etc. but the problem is, they don’t have many staff so there’s usually a long wait if you arrive en masse.

Just round the corner in Castle Road, another favourite is Gracy Mays. Bit on the pricey side but they provide blankets too so you can eat and drink outside; especially important when you’ve got bikes you need to keep an eye on.

Emmaus village at Carlton has a very nice cafe and is sensibly priced. Downside is that it is not open until lunch time.

Just across the road on the corner of Pembroke Street is the Jaffa Orchard. This place is run by church volunteers who sell really good cakes at everso cheap prices. Only downside is that it is often too packed to get a seat.

Nice cafe hidden away at the back of Willington Garden centre. Again, a nice selection of cakes plus lots of safe space to leave bikes.

Another favourite for cyclists (bit far to go for just a training run) is the Buttery at Castle Ashby. They always put loads of ice water on the table before you order. They also give as many coffee refills as you like at no extra charge. Although the cafe in Harrold Country Park used to be a firm favourite after weekend runs, in the summer when they are busy, we have been treated less than well. On one occasion we were only allowed to order from the outside kiosk which had a very limited range of cake and coffee and, when we objected, the person-in-charge was quite rude.

Jenny King has another idea altogether. She says ‘For Saturday after-run cakes, I know two wonderful venues, where we are always made welcome and fed a variety of delicious cakes or tasty snacks. Nothing too healthy - after all, why run if you can’t enjoy replacing all those used- up calories? So I vote for Nette and John Cheetham’s and David and Judy Prior’s homes. (Editor’s note: I think these are by invitation only.)

Jordans Mill at Biggleswade has proved very popular since it has been revamped. Large cafe with wide selection of food and drink. On a nice day, you can sit outside on the balcony overlooking the river. Only downside for cyclists; it’s difficult to keep an eye on your bikes.


Design and Print by Alastair Fadden Creative Workshop 01234 364494

Favourite of all has to be the Southill tea shop. Situated in this quiet village, it has the appearance of a private house and garden. Coffee is served in cafetieres and tea in pots. Selection of homemade cakes and bacon butties. When the weather’s fine you can sit outside and use the picnic tables, and inside the tables are covered with lace tablecloths and period china. Has a small supplies and gift shop attached. I want to move in!

Male Championship Races Alastair Fadden 1st MV45, 5 miles (Blisworth) Andrew Palombella 3rd Man, XC (Dunstable) Chris Linney 1st MV40, XC (Dunstable) David Course 1st MV35, Marathon (London) David Prior 1st MV65, Marathon (Brighton) David Sharman 1st MV35, XC (Dunstable) 1st MV35, 5 miles (Blisworth) 1st MV35, 10k (Standalone) Gary Finch 1st MV45, XC (Dunstable) 1st MV45, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) 1st MV45, 5k (Doug Anderson) Ian Hammett 1st MV35, 5k (Doug Anderson) 2nd Man, Marathon (Chester) Jack Chana 1st MV60, 10k (Standalone) 1st MV60, Marathon (London) Jamie Hawthorn 3rd Man, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) 1st MV40, Marathon (Milton Keynes) Jerry Pullinger 1st Man, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) 3rd Man, 10 miles (Sandy) 1st MV55, XC (Dunstable) 1st MV55, 5 miles (Blisworth) 3rd Man, 10k (Standalone) 1st MV55, Marathon (London) John Aspinall 1st MV45, 10k (Standalone) Justin Burrell 1st MV40, 10 miles (Sandy) Keith Peryer 1st MV50, 5k (Doug Anderson) Kevin Shelton-Smith 3rd Man, Marathon (Philadelphia) Kevin Willett 2nd Man, XC (Dunstable) 2nd Man, 10 miles (Sandy) 2nd Man, 5 miles (Blisworth) 2nd Man, 5k (Doug Anderson)

Larry Corkrey 1st MV75, 5 miles (Blisworth) 1st MV75, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st MV75, 10k (Standalone) Lee Clarke 1st MV35, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) Martin Leach 1st MV70, 5 miles (Blisworth) 1st MV70, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) 1st MV70, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st MV70, Marathon (London) Mike Barnett 1st MV65, 5k (Doug Anderson) Morris Dempster 1st MV60, 5 miles (Blisworth) 1st MV60, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) Mourad Ben-Taieb 1st MV55, 10 miles (Sandy) Neil Lovesey 1st MV55, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st MV55, 10k (Standalone) Nicholas Beardow 1st MV50, 10 miles (Sandy) 1st MV50, Marathon (Chester) Norman Beckwith 1st MV70, XC (Dunstable) Paolo Basso 1st MV40, 10k (Standalone) 3rd Man, 5 miles (Blisworth) Paul Furness 1st MV45, Marathon (London) Paul Stuart 1st MV45, 10 miles (Sandy) 1st MV50, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) Phillip Jamieson 3rd Man, 5k (Doug Anderson) Richard Piron 1st MV60, XC (Dunstable) 1st MV60, 5k (Doug Anderson) Robert Jones 1st MV40, 5k (Doug Anderson) Steve Crane 1st MV55, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) Steve Daniels 1st MV50, XC (Dunstable)

Steve Horton 1st Man, 10 miles (S 1st Man, 5 miles (Bli 1st Man, Half Marat 1st Man, 5k (Doug A 1st Man, 10k (Stand 1st Man, Marathon Steve Wallace 1st MV40, Half Mara Stuart Dare 2nd Man, 10k (Stand Stuart Snelson 1st MV35, 10 miles ( Tom Brassington 1st MV60, 10 miles ( Tony Barnes 1st MV50, 5 miles (B 1st MV50, 10k (Stan Vittorio Paci 1st MV40, 5 miles (B

Ladies Champio

Alison Cooper 1st FV50, 10k (Stand

Amanda Mayes 1st FV55, Marathon

Angela Kay 1st FV50, Half Mara

Anna Folland 1st Lady, XC (Dunsta 1st Lady, 5 miles (Bl 1st Lady, Half Marat 1st Lady, 5k (Doug A 1st Lady, 10k (Stand 1st Lady, Marathon

Beverley Tredget 3rd Lady, Half Mara 1st FV50, 5 miles (Bl

Cheryl Bosher 1st FV35, XC (Dunsta

Dawn Childs 1st FV40, Marathon

Elaine McCulloch 1st FV65, Half Mara


Sandy) isworth) thon (Milton Keynes) Anderson) dalone) (London)

athon (Milton Keynes)




Blisworth) ndalone)


onship Races

2014 Estelle Smith Renette Wolvaardt 1st FV40, 5 miles (Blisworth) 1st FV45, 10k (Standalone) 1st FV40, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) Sally Cartwright Iva Barr 2nd Lady, XC (Dunstable) 1st FV85, Marathon (London) 3rd Lady, 5 miles (Blisworth) 3rd Lady, 10k (Standalone) Jackie Keenan 2nd Lady, 10 miles (Sandy) 1st FV65, 5 miles (Blisworth) 3rd Lady, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st FV65, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st FV65, 10k (Standalone) Sally Gurney 1st FV40, 10 miles (Sandy) Jackie Popland 1st FV40, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st FV60, Marathon, (Berlin) Sally Johnston Jenny Lovesey 1st FV45, XC (Dunstable) 1st FV50, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st FV45, 5k (Doug Anderson) 3rd Lady, Marathon, (Brighton) Joanne Smythe 1st FV35, 10 miles (Sandy) Samantha Baylis 1st FV40, XC (Dunstable) Juliet Smith 1st FV45, 10 miles (Sandy) Sarah Wanden 1st FV45, Marathon (London) 1st FV45, 5 miles (Blisworth) Kirstie Meeten Val Bird 1st Lady, 10 miles (Sandy) 1st FV60, 10 miles (Sandy) 2nd Lady, 5 miles (Blisworth) 2nd Lady, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes) Veronica Singleton-Lawley 2nd Lady, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st FV50, XC (Dunstable) 2nd Lady, 10k (Standalone) 1st FV50, 10 miles, (Sandy) 3rd Lady, XC (Dunstable) 1st FV50, Marathon (Milton Keynes) 2nd Lady, Marathon (London)


Linda Wilding 1st FV60, 5 miles (Blisworth)

Road Race Championship

n (London)

Lindsay Carter 1st FV40, 10k (Standalone)

Ladies Anna Folland Nora Haggart Sally Cartwright

1st Lady 2nd Lady 3rd Lady

Mens Jerry Pullinger Steve Horton Paul Furness

1st Man 2nd Man 3rd Man

athon (Milton Keynes)

Lynne Greenard 1st FV65, XC (Dunstable)

able) lisworth) thon (Milton Keynes) Anderson) dalone) (Brighton)

Marianne Williamson 3rd Lady, 10 miles (Sandy)

athon (Milton Keynes) lisworth)


Nicola Mitchell 1st FV35, 10k (Standalone) Nora Haggart 1st FV55, XC (Dunstable) 1st FV55, 10 miles (Sandy) 1st FV55, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st FV55, 10k (Standalone) Paula Stuart 1st FV45, Half Marathon (Milton Keynes)

n (London)

Penny Duffin 1st FV55, 5 miles (Blisworth)

athon (Milton Keynes)

Renee Allen 1st FV35, 5k (Doug Anderson) 1st FV35, Marathon (Brighton)

Club Man of the Year 2014 Steve Crane

Club Lady of the Year 2014 Valerie Bird


Special Awards For Notable Achievements 5th Ladies Team SEAA Cross-Country Championships Parliament Hill Anna Folland Gill Fullen Sally Cartwright Kirstie Meeten Anna Folland New Club Best TImes for Age Group At All Distances Kirstie Meeten New Club Best TImes for Age Group At All Distances Matt Burgin Lavaredo Ultra Trail, 119Km 24.20.17hrs La Diagonale des Fous, 172k, 53.59.20hrs

Outstanding Performance Awards Angela Kay 1st LV55 Challenge Vitoria-Gasteiz Gill Fullen 1st LV50 Ironman Bolton 1st Lady, 1st LV50, Horst Sprint Duathlon 1st LV50 at 5 miles, Run Britain Rankings

Triathlon Awards Sprint Distance 1st Man Kevin Willettt Karen Robertson 1st Lady Standard Distance 1st Man Geoff Cooper 1st Lady Nora Haggart Middle Distance 1st Man Paul Stuart Lorena Henderson 1st Lady

Most Improved Triathlete Paul Stuart

Greatest Contributor to Triathlon Alison Cooper

Triathlete of the Year Bev Haye

Club Best Times


Kirstie Meeten Doug Anderson 5k, July Hatfield 5m, November Standalone 10k, October Sandy 10m, March Reading Half Marathon, March Bedford Harriers Half, Dec 2013 London Marathon, April

FV35 18.40mins 31.18mins 38.29mins 63.10mins 1.24.32hrs 1.27.28hrs 3.00.19hrs

Anna Folland FV40 Doug Anderson 5k, July 18.15mins Blisworth 5m, May 30.14mins Wolverton 5m, November 29.56mins Silverstone 10k, May 38.16mins Shakespeare 10k, November 37.52mins Nene Valley 10m, December 63.07mins, Reading Half Marathon, March 1.22.58hrs Bedford Harriers Half, Dec 2013, 1.24.58hrs Brighton marathon, April 2.58.hrs Kevin Willett Doug Anderson 5k, July Blisworth 5m, May Silverstone 10k, May Sandy 10m, March

MV50 17.12mins 28.37mins 36.18mins 59.35mins

Kevin Shelton-Smith MV50 Philadelphia Marathon, November 2.52.12hrs Gill Fullen Wolverton 5m, November

FV50 29.38mins

Nora Haggart Doug Anderson 5k, July Hatfield 5k, October

FV55 21.44mins 21.10mins

Jackie Popland Standalone 10k, October Berlin Marathon, September

FV60 53.52mins 4.23.17hrs

Jacky Keenan Doug Anderson 5k, July Blisworth 5m, May Bedford 10k, September Standalone 10k, October

FV65 26.26mins 42.57mins 53.59mins 53.52mins

Martin Leach Doug Anderson 5k, July, London Marathon, April

MV70 23.27mins 4.13.46hrs

Larry Corkery Hatfield 5k, October Blisworth 5m, May Banbury 5m, June Milton Keynes 10k, July Bedford 10k, September, Standalone 10k, October

MV75 29.38mins 50.39mins 48.51mins 1.02.13hrs 1.01.19hrs 1.01.02hrs

Standard Awards CLUB AWARDS Amber Deardon Anne Adamson Chas Fisk Claire Adamson David Elliot Deborah Palmer James Robinson Jim Shaw Jodi Henderson Kevin Kaighin Kevin Shelton Smith Lindsay Pearce Matt Bowmer Noelle Wolvaardt Patrick Harnan Rachel Cameron Russell Cartwright Sarah Parker Stephanie Lill Stuart Hensman Sue Pyecroft

2014 BRONZE AWARDS Anne Hirst Cheryl Bosher Estelle Smith Stuart Snelson Tom Beach Vittorio Paci Zoe Willett SILVER AWARDS Dean Newman Jackie Popland Paul Griffiths Robert Wallis Sally Gurney Stuart Knight GOLD AWARDS Colin Ross Danny Winn David Sharman Nicholas Beardow Paolo Basso

PLATINUM AWARDS TIN AWARDS Jenny Lovesey Caroline Clark Kirstie Meeten Deborah Roberts (Allen) Steve Horton Jenny King Tony Barnes Keith Lakin LIndsay Carter DIAMOND AWARD Anna Folland COPPER AWARDS Kevin Willett Anne Marie King Sally Cartwright Carrie Traill Jenny Damon Mark Wood Russell Lambert Simon King

Most Improved Runners Steve Horton Kirstie Meeten

Harriers who have run a marathon distance race this year Laurence Abbott Deborah Allen Renee Allen Richard Baldock Iva Barr Paolo Basso Rebecca Baxter Nicholas Beardow Lynsday Carter Jack Chana Dawn Childs Lee Clarke Larissa Clarke Tony Cormano David Course Andrew Crawford Tina Delaney Caroline Diggle David Elliott Trudie Finch Joanne Finch Gary Finch Mark Finn Fiona Fisher Anna Folland Paul Furness Ian Hammett John Harbour Patrick Harnan Jamie Hawthorn Stuart Hensman Adam Hills Steve Horton Susan Johnston Sally Johnston Noel Jones Tony Jones Robert Jones Ian Joyce Jenny King Simon King Eva Kovacs Martin Leach Joya Limb Neil Loader Hazel Lodge Jenny Lovesey Amanda Mayes Caroline Medley Kirstie Meeten Dean Newman Peter Pack Susan Pack Andy Palombella

Tony Parello Lynsday Pearce Jackie Popland David Prior Jerry Pullinger Jeanette Rinaldi Alex Rothwell Rohit Sehdev Andy Sewell David Sharman Veronica Singleton Lawley Angela Sloan Estelle Smith Juliet Smiths Ian Sturdgess Mark Taggart Mark Tinkler Carrie Traill Stuart Trevallion Sarah Wanden Linda Watson Richard Wild Marianne Williamson Mark Wood Renette Woolvardt Dirk Woolvardt

Harriers who have run an ultra distance Caroline Diggle Dean Newman Dirk Woolvardt Ian Sturdgess Mark Taggert Matt Burgin Nicholas Beardow Noel Jones Renette Woolvardt Richard Beard Richard Baldock Sarah Wanden

Ironman distance triathletes Angela Kay Bev Hayes Eva Kovacs Gary Finch Gill Fullen Ian Joyce Juliet Smith Laurence Abbott Nicholas Beardow

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