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THE HARRIERS HERALD No. 248, October 2013 Editor: Sue Francis

Contents, features, reports, results • Thursday night schedules for October and November • Correspondence received • Berks, Bucks & Oxon cross-country Chanps • Christmas Meal – Preliminary details • Breaking news - Fay qualifies for 70.3 World Champs • Race results: Henley Ironman – Rich and Ryan reach new milestones; Isle of Wight Fell Running Champs – Colin reports on his first fell races, as Harriers collect series trophies; Chippenham Half – Susanne and Philomena represent the Harriers; Highclere 10K – Three Harriers enjoy a local multi-terrain race • Compton Charity Cycle – Sue and Mo enjoy the route but not the mud • Handicap Race – Pete O claims the trophy in a close finish, while Dick retains his Championship lead • Webmaster’s article – Mo features a new musical link on our website; asks whether it is better to run alone, with a partner, or in a group; and lists forthcoming races of interest • Thanks to Colin and Mo for this month’s contributions • Copy date for next Harriers Herald – 30th October

Thursday night schedule for October Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

3rd 10th 17th 24th 31st

Handicap Race Aaron to lead Sue to lead Gillian to lead Colin to lead

Thursday night schedule for November Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

7th 14th 21st 28th

Handicap Race Neil to lead Nicola to lead Jonathan to lead

Sender Berks, Bucks & Oxon xc Association

Correspondence received Subject matter BBO x-country Champs, 16-11-13, Bracknell Forest

Action See details below

Berks, Bucks & Oxon (BBO) cross-country champs This annual event is open to any first claim members of any running clubs based in Berks, Bucks or Oxon. This year, it will be held over an interesting and fairly flat course in Swinley Forest near Bracknell on 16th November. The ladies race (6K) starts at 1:30pm and the men’s race (9.5K) at 2:15 pm. The entry fee is £5.00 per person and must be made by the club’s secretary. If you would like to enter, please let me (Sue) know by 24th October and I will send a list of entrants. If enough members are interested I can enter you as a team rather than as individuals.

Christmas Meal Pete O has kindly volunteered to organise this year’s Compton Harriers Christmas meal. Pete’s suggested venue is The Fox at Peasemore ( ), and the menu options and price met with all-round approval from those of us who were at the pub after last Thursday’s run. Also, to my knowledge, we’ve only ever had one Harriers visit to The Fox, when Dick led a Thursday evening cycle ride several years ago – so it will make a nice change. A suggested date is Saturday 21st December, but Pete will confirm the date in due course. HH Oct 2013


Fay qualifies for 70.3 World Champs Dave reports that Fay has just been informed of her qualification for the 70.3 World Championships to be held next year in Canada. ‘70.3’ is a Half Ironman distance - 1.9km swim, 56 mile bike and a half marathon to finish. Fay qualified by winning her age group in the Lanzarote Ironman event earlier this year.

Race results Henley Ironman & Half Ironman, 8th September Seasoned Ironman competitor Rich completed the Henley Ironman in an excellent personal best time of 11:41:32. In the Ironman World, a sub-12 hour time is considered to be a key achievement. Rich was 93rd of 358 finishers. Meanwhile, Ryan finished his first half Ironman in a good time of 5:36:11 (182nd of 623 finishers).

The Isle of Wight South Eastern Fell Running Champs, 14th & 15th September Colin (with bits from Lucy’s 2012 report to aid factual correctness) The Isle of Wight fell running weekend consists of two races on the Saturday and one on Sunday. In fell running terms they are graded as ‘A - short’ (3.8km/235m ascent.); ‘B - medium’ (12km/443m ascent) and ‘C - long’ (21km/487m ascent). The first race starts at 11:00 am on Saturday, giving plenty of time for hardy mainlanders to cross the Solent and pick up their number. I decided that a 4 o’clock start was not for me so Jan and I travelled across on the Friday. This gave us the time to visit Osborne House, a place we last visited over 30 years ago. There seemed little point in visiting Ventnor, the location of the races, as I didn’t have a clue of the routes. In retrospect this was wise as the following morning when I drove to Ventnor everything looked steep, very steep; with my inability to cope with hills I was wondering why on earth I had entered the races. I parked at the school and walked down to the front where the race was due to start. Meeting up with Martin, Lucy, Dick and Jan it was obviously too late to pull out. The start of the first race, St Boniface Fell (3.8km), was at 11:00 am and the 135 runners duly lined up. I kept to the back hoping to hold that position throughout the race. We were off! As usual my fears of being left far behind (and I mean by the last but one runner not the leading pack) thankfully proved unfounded and I was with a group of about 20 runners jogging up some very steep roads. I noticed that one lady in the group was walking and not going any slower that the rest, so I decided to do the same. After about 1km we left the roads and continued up a narrow path to Boniface Down where the landscape opens up. Just prior to getting to Boniface itself we had to queue to go through a gate – a chance to get your breath back. Once on Boniface Down it is a hands on knees job, occasionally on some steps that have been cut into the turf. After about 100m the terrain plateaus out and you can run again. Then it’s about 1km around a mast before you come back the same route. Going down the steep bit was not good and I think some practice might be beneficial before next year. Once down the path you’re back on to roads and a fantastic downhill stretch to the finish. The section down from the mast was the final section for all three races and I confess to enjoying it more each time I did it. A sandwich from the co-op and a glass of coke with the other guys whiled away the time between races. The Ventnor Horseshoe (12km) starts at 3 pm. Again 135 runners, but not necessarily the same ones, lined up. The first section on the roads was the same as the previous race, not too much point overdoing this as there was much further to go this time. We took a slightly more gentle route to the top before a downhill stretch followed by a flat section – all this time I’m thinking about the ‘steps’ which I have heard Dick, Lucy and Martin talk about. After the enjoyable bit came a short uphill section again followed by a long downhill stretch and a section on a disused railway line that I convinced myself was slightly uphill – I was feeling quite good. The only downside at this time was that I knew at some point we had to return to the mast before the finish. Then the ‘up’ started. Everyone around me was walking at this point so, not wishing to make them feel guilty, I joined them. There were a few ups and downs and then, in the trees, I could see these fabled steps! Actually they’re not too bad - I wasn’t running up them but, by using the arms, progress was acceptable. At the top there was a kind marshal with some jelly babies. Some more uphill parts and eventually we were on top. You now run around the end of a valley (is this the horseshoe bit?) to the mast and back to the finish on the enjoyable section. There wasn’t much changing of places,

HH Oct 2013


I could see runners ahead of me but couldn’t catch them. Being the last one home from the club has the advantage that you do receive a warm welcome; those four can make a lot of noise. That evening the Compton Harriers regrouped at the ‘Volunteer’ in Ventnor and then went on to the ‘Buddle’ in Niton for sustenance. If you saw us during the meal you could have been excused for not rating our chances of getting to tomorrow’s start line too highly. I thought I wasn’t too bad until it came time to stand; not that walking was any easier. We set off to our various abodes for the sleep that comes with beer, good food and exhaustion. The Sunday was forecast to be raining but thankfully the weather was kind. I was able to walk which I reckoned meant I could get to the start line. Jan and I were staying in Yarmouth which is diagonally opposite Ventnor on the island. After a cooked breakfast we set off to Ventnor. The drive took just over 30 minutes on the coast road which has beautiful views. The Wroxall Round is a nominal 21km and proceeds along the sea-front rather than up the dreaded Tulse Hill. This race started at 10:30 am and number of runners was very similar to the previous two races. Along the sea front isn’t quite as flat as you might imagine with various ups and downs that only hint at what is about to come. After just over 2km we turned inland and up a fairly constant gradient that I decided to walk. A new obstacle today was the introduction of mountain bikers. I don’t think they were being timed but three of them decided they might as well cycle up this narrow path at the same time as a stream of runners were going up. They were moving slightly faster than us so constantly asking to come past, one runner at a time. A little irritating. At the top of the hill the path levels before another memorable fast downhill stretch with the opportunity to overtake. This race report now misses a large section, I remember running/walking/running/walking up and down through some very pleasant countryside but exactly in what sequence I have no recollection; I was struggling. We went through a Donkey sanctuary and a water station at some point and then we came back to the disused railway line I had felt so good on yesterday – what a difference a day makes. Today although it looked downhill, we were going in the opposite direction, I just couldn’t get above a fast jog. I took the opportunity to have a gel which I think may have helped later but had no immediate benefit. Soon we came to the steps, now I appreciate how difficult they are when you are shattered. Being able to use your arms does help but only if you have managed to lift your foot onto the next step. The top of the steps came followed by the top of the hill. The mast was now visible and no more uphill. There were several runners around me and I was trying to keep my place, fortunately they were as weary as me. Just before the mast a chap came alongside, I managed to ask if he was going to make me race to the finish. ‘I’d prefer not to’ was the reply then we were ‘racing’ on my favourite section. I did hold him off and was rewarded with 93rd place – well you wouldn’t want to come 94th! The award ceremony was well attended. There were awards for the SEAA Fell Running Championships with Lucy picking up 1st F50, Martin collecting 3rd M50 and Dick collecting 3rd M60. There were also awards for the individual races in which the club was well represented (I think all three collected at least one reward). At this point the others returned via a teashop to the mainland – Jan and I stayed one more night. I would recommend trying this event; I found it as friendly as any I have entered. Don’t be put off by the three races, it’s just a different sort of challenge and you can always miss one out. I imagine the routes are fairly tame for fell races, a gentle introduction, more like trail running or cross country. The weekend is excellent value, all three races were bundled together for £15. Plus you can make it into a short holiday.

Chippenham Half, 15th September Sus finished in 1:29:16 (81st), while Philomena struggled with a sore hamstring but still recorded a very respectable 1:47:21 (472nd). Race winners were Sam Humphrey (Victoria Park Harriers) in 1:10:38, and Hilary Mott (CLC Striders) in 1:26:09. There were 1334 finishers.

Highclere 10K, 29th September Three Harriers enjoyed this undulating multi-terrain 10K in the grounds of Highclere Castle on a pleasant autumn day. Martin was 23rd (42:25), Lucy 64th (47:52) and Colin 74th (48:54). The race was won by James Knight (Overton Harriers) in 36:00, and there were 314 finishers.

HH Oct 2013


Compton Charity Cycle, 25M multi-terrain, 14th September Sue Mo and I took part in the inaugural Compton Charity Cycle, held to raise money for Compton pre-school. This year it was a relatively low-key event and had just 30 entrants (probably in part due to the cold, damp and windy weather). However, it was very-well organised with plenty of marshals and arrows at changes of direction. The organisers were very pleased with how it went and hope to make it an annual fixture. Setting off from Compton Recreation ground and up the concrete road to Gore Hill, Mo and I found ourselves towards the front of the group, and chatting to a Compton resident who is a keen solo runner but interested in doing next year’s Compton Challenge. Wearing our Harriers vests did stimulate some comments and conversations with our fellow cyclists. Turning north down a narrow track towards Chilton, we hit our first muddy section, and I caused a bit of a traffic jam when I skidded off-course into the hedge. We let the off-road experts past, and continued on our way through Chilton and on the Compton 40 route to Harwell site and towards East Hendred. Here, a route marker had disappeared but the event organiser and some of his fast mountain-biking mates who were cycling ahead then doing ‘cycle backs’ to the rest of us, were ahead of the game and placed a new route marker. Turning south up to the Ridgeway, Mo was overcome by a wave of nostalgia, as we cycled up the hill on which he had come to grief while riding down in the Boneshaker cycle race almost 12 months earlier. After a short section on the Ridgeway, we turned down ‘The Hidden Valley’ to Lands End, just after the half-way point, where we stopped for drinks and flapjack at the checkpoint. The second half of the route was less stony and much muddier! Many of the tracks were familiar to us, from Thursday runs led by Pete O, around Catmore, Stanmore and Peasemore. The only track we weren’t familiar with was one from Stanmore to Beedon Common. The mud was terrible here, clogging up our chains and brake blocks, and making the wheels spin. This track was also very rutted, and Mo skidded off ending up in a bramble bush. With 5 miles left, we started to get a bit fed up with the mud, drizzle, cold fingers, and sore bottoms (despite the fact that we’d both recently bought padded saddle covers!). A 25-mile hilly off-road cycle was challenge enough for us without these extra difficulties! We gave up trying to reel back the two guys who had been just ahead of us. Once at Beedon, we were back on familiar ground and took a firm farm track across to Warnham’s Lane and along to Cheseridge Farm, where we noted that some Boundary Race route markings were still in place – I’d forgotten about those! A welcome road downhill took us to Mayfield and then along Compton High Street back to the Rec. where we had a burger and drink. Having averaged about 10 mph, we finished in 2:36. I think it took us a similar length of time to clean our bikes when we got home. The route was really nice, the organisation very good and the atmosphere friendly; it was just a shame that the weather and mud detracted a bit from the enjoyment. We hope to be back next year in better conditions.

HH Oct 2013


Handicap Race Sue October’s Handicap Race saw a select bunch of 6 Harriers racing around the Relay Lap for the final time this year. The forecast heavy rain did not materialise, so conditions were good for racing and we completed the warm-up, race and cool-down laps before the light faded. Aaron, Colin, Pete O and Nicola set off in close succession, then there was a 50-second gap before Martin and I started. Having surprised a walker and his dog along the top footpath, we joined ‘Cundell’s path’. Ahead of me, I could see Pete, Colin and Aaron still all together, stretching out along the nice downhill section of Hockheim Road, and then sprinting for the finish at the Institute main gate. In a close finish, Pete got there first to claim the trophy in a good time. Just 2 seconds behind, Aaron had to settle for 2nd place but was close to his PB. I claimed 3rd spot by just passing Colin, who ran so hard he felt ill at the finish. Ultra-runner Nicola, doing her first Handicap Race since joining the Club, established a good finish time in 5th place. Martin was forced to take it steady, having joined the growing band of Harriers with sore hamstrings. Well done to Pete, and thanks to Jan for timing. The next Handicap Race is scheduled for Thursday 7th November around our winter 3.1K Village Lap road route. Finish Position 1 2 3 4 5 6

Position on handicap 1 2 3 4 New Runner 5


Start time

Pete O Aaron Sue Colin Nicola Martin

0:35 0:12 1:26 0:18 0:35 1:23

Finish time

Actual time

10:50 10:52 10:57 11:02 11:29 13:26

10:15 10:40 9:31 10:44 10:56 12:03

Handicap Beaten? -0:10 -0:08 -0:03 +0:02 New Runner +2:26

Handicap Championship: Despite missing this month’s race, Dick’s lead was sufficient to keep him at the top of the table. Aaron’s runner-up spot this month has moved him into 2nd ahead of Philomena, while Colin and Sue have moved up to 4th and 5th respectively. Remember, at the end of the series in December, it is your best five scores which will count. So, once you’ve run more than five races, you can drop your lower scores and positions may change. Pos.

1 2 3 4 5 6= 6= 6= 6= 6= 11 12= 12= 14 15 16 17 18= 18= 18=


Dick Aaron Philomena

Colin Sue Mo Terry Tapani Richard Neil Pete O Lucy Gillian Martin Mags Jonathan Ricky Nicola Pete H Piers

HH Oct 2013

Race 1 12 4 9 7 2 6 3 8 5 10 1 1 1 1 1

Race 2 12 1 6 1 3 10 8 7 4 9 3 5 -

Race 3 10 6 8 4 3 9 5 12 2 7 -

Race 4 10 8 2 6 4 9 1 12 3 5 7 -

Race points Race Race 5 6 6 7 4 6 9 10 4 5 8 10 12 12 9 5 7 3 8 2 -


Race 7 10 8 9 12 7 1 -

Race 8 -

Race 9 -

Total of best 5 45 42 38 31 30 25 25 25 25 25 24 20 20 17 15 13 12 1 1 1

Website update… Mo

Links of interest this month: With the demise of the free online Running Fitness magazine (now on its last issue), I have come up with a replacement for the website link which I hope will provide some interest and entertainment for all. You will notice a new icon at the bottom of the menu bar which shows a pair of headphones on a world globe. The link will take you to the new Compton Harriers ‘Keep on running …’ page where I have embedded a link to a YouTube music video. The idea is for members who may have a favourite piece of ‘running-related’ music which they would like featured here, to just drop me an email with details and I will come up with a link each month to the particular piece of music. For this month, I have provided the link to a recent recording of a favourite of mine (Keep on Running) which features the original vocalist (Steve Winwood). This version featured on a recent Jools Holland TV show and is available for public viewing on YouTube. The original version was by The Spencer Davis Group, with Steve Winwood as the original vocalist, when it made no. 1 in December 1965. I look forward to your suggestions from which I will choose next month’s offering. This month’s article: Is Running Better Alone, with a Partner, or in a Group? It’s not unusual to come across lone runners whether they are preparing for a particular event, running for personal enjoyment or just keeping fit. By running alone, you can run at your own pace, enjoy the scenery, listen to music or just get lost in your own thoughts that often help in finding solutions to various problems at home and in the workplace. However, if you are seeking to improve your pace and technique, one of the quickest and the most enjoyable ways to do so is to meet up with like-minded runners. By running with others, your competitive instinct will come to the fore, making it more difficult to slacken off, so ensuring you work a little harder and thereby maintaining a higher level of motivation and commitment. When running with a group, it’s important that you run with people of similar experience, or something close to it, so that you can easily tag on at the rear of the group and then as you improve, gradually move towards the front and become one of the pace-setters. Pacing is usually fairly straightforward as whoever is assigned to lead will ensure everyone in the group is comfortable with the pace. Running with a partner (or in a small group of 3 or 4) is a great way of making sure that you keep up the commitment to meet up for regular scheduled runs, irrespective of the weather and other commitments. It is also a great way of pushing yourself and stepping up the pace. If your partner is a more experienced runner, then so much the better as you will need to push just that little bit harder to keep up. Eventually, you will find yourself comfortably running at speeds that you would have thought impossible, thanks to the incentive of trying to keep pace with your partner. Running with a partner has the advantage over group running as it can be too easy to drop off the pace and not push so hard in a group. A combination of all three will enable you to become a better all-round runner with the ability to set a relaxed pace in the longer distance events and also provide you with the ability to up the effort and become competitive over the shorter ones. Of course, the above describes the profile of a Compton Harrier!

HH Oct 2013


Forthcoming Events of Interest – see Website Events Calendar for full details and listing: Sunday, October 6

Sunday, October 13

Saturday, October 19 Sunday, October 20

Thursday, October 24 Saturday, October 26 Sunday, October 27

Saturday, November 2 Sunday, November 3 Friday, November 8 Saturday, November 9 Sunday, November 10 Sunday, November 17 Sunday, November 24 Thursday, November 28 Sunday, December 1 Sunday, January 5, 2014 Sunday, February 2, 2014 Sunday, February 16, 2014 Sunday, March 2, 2014

HH Oct 2013

Blenheim Palace Half Marathon Bournemouth Marathon Festival Clarendon Marathon Reading O2O 10K BHF Swindon Half Marathon Henley Half Marathon Oxford Half Marathon 2013 Ridgeway Run 15.5k Burnham Beeches 10k XC Abingdon Marathon Autumn 10 miles - Tadley Exmoor Stagger 15 Frieth Hilly10k & 5k Weston Prom 5M - Race 2 of 9 10k Spooky Scamper 10km Clock Change Challenge Ascott-under-Wychwood Charity 10K Multi Terrain Bupa Great South Run - 10Miles The Poppy Run - 5k Watlington Skyline - 10Miles XC 10 Mile Muddy Mo Run Oxford Mail XC Round 1 - Ascott-under-Wychwood Marlow Half Marathon Ridgeway Ultra 82 Run2Remember 11k Grand Union Canal Half-Marathon Avebury 8 AVR Wiltshire Half Marathon Herbert's Hole Challenge 10K Downton Half-Marathon Maylarch Eynsham 10K Weston Prom 5M - Race 3 of 9 Watlington XC XK 10K Winter 5.3 XC race – Tadley Oxford Mail XC Round 2 - Culham Oxford Mail XC Round 3 - Middleton Cheney Long Mynd Valleys Race - 18.5k Fell Oxford Mail XC Round 4 - Cirencester Bramley 20/10 Miles Oxford Mail XC Round 5 - Harwell



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