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THE HARRIERS HERALD No. 272, October 2015 Editor: Sue Francis

Contents, features, reports, results      

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Thursday night schedules for October and November Correspondence received Elo Elmaa – A tribute to a former Compton Harrier Christmas meal – It’s time to start thinking about our Club’s annual party Berks, Bucks & Oxon cross-country Champs Race results & reports: Earth Trust 10K – Sue contests a challenging race at Wittenham Clumps; Compton Charity Cycle – Mo and Sue complete 25-mile ride; Pangbourne 10K – Richard T enjoys a nice local race; Isle of Wight Fell Race Series – Sue reports on an enjoyable and successful weekend Handicap Race – Helen retains the trophy, while Nitish remains the Championship leader Webmaster’s article – Mo features: exercises for injured athletes; how to boost your immune system; recent updates to the Club website; enjoyable winter work-outs; and list of local and interesting races Thanks to Mo for this month’s article and photos Copy date for next Harriers Herald – 31st October

Thursday night schedule for October Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

1st 8th 15th 22nd 29th

Sue to lead Jonathan to lead Lucy to lead Tom to lead Handicap Race

Thursday night schedule for November Thurs Thurs Thurs Thurs

5th 12th 19th 26th

Martin to lead Richard D to lead Philomena to lead Mo to lead

As the evenings draw in, don’t forget to wear something bright, fluorescent or reflective!

Correspondence received Sender English Cross-Country Association (ECCA) England Athletics SEAA

Subject matter ECCA Cross-Country Handbook 2015/2016 Details of cross-country Champs events Notification of EA AGM (17th October) Information Update

Action File File File

Elo Elmaa Compton Harriers will be sad to hear that former member Elo Elmaa recently passed away aged 75. Elo ran with us for three years in the early 2000's, before deciding that tennis was easier on his knees, though he continued to enjoy a daily jog with his dog. Those who knew Elo will remember him for his cheerful smile and sense of humour.

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Compton Harriers Christmas Meal 2015 Sue It will soon be time to begin planning our Christmas gathering for this year. Traditionally, we’ve had a Friday or Saturday evening meal at a fairly local pub, to which all Harriers and their partners have been invited. Wherever we go, it needs to be somewhere that can accommodate about 30 of us. Martin and Lucy did an excellent job of organising a very nice and well-attended evening at The White Hart at Hampstead Norreys last year. Would anyone like to volunteer to organise the Christmas Meal this year? Things to organise are the venue, date, collection of deposits and collating menu orders, and liaising with the pub. If anyone’s seen some inviting Christmas menus already, feel free to bring them on a Thursday evening for all to peruse.

Berks, Bucks & Oxon (BBO) cross-country champs This annual event is open to first claim members of any running clubs based in Berks, Bucks or Oxon. This year it will be held over an interesting and hilly course at Horspath (near Oxford) on Saturday 21st November. The ladies race (6K) starts at 11:30 and the men’s race (9.5K) at 12:15. 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 29th October, give me £5, and I will send a list of entrants. If enough members are interested I can enter you as a team rather than as individuals.

Race Results and Reports Earth Trust 10K, 6th September Sue This challenging, but very scenic, friendly and well-organised multi-terrain race at Wittenham Clumps, was held on a lovely sunny autumn morning. I had a free entry to this year’s race, as I was first lady in the inaugural event last year. However, I knew it would be very difficult to defend my title, as the race had attracted a lot of good runners this time. I lined up at the start with Abingdon AC’s Sarah Lackman who is usually a bit faster than me on track and cross-country, and Newbury AC’s Jess Franklin who was taking part in only her second race since giving birth 6 months ago. Sarah set a good pace, and I determined to stay behind her as long as I could. We raced together through Wittenham Wood, along the banks of the Thames, and back through the wood, till we hit the base of Round Hill at 8K. Here, I had to drop the pace to be sure of making it to the top! Sarah pushed on and Jess, clearly very fit again, came past too. My younger rivals took a minute out of me in the last 2K, but I was pleased to finish 2 ½ minutes faster than last year (44:32, 4th lady and 12th overall). There were 103 finishers, with a close race for first place being won by Martin Ineson (39:16), 1st lady Maddie Horton finishing 6th overall in 41:39, and the last finisher recording 1:39:57.

Compton Charity Cycle, 12th September Sue Mo and I took part in this 25-mile multi-terrain cycle event on a morning of mixed weather, with warm sunshine interspersed with rain showers. There were 52 finishers this year, and we finished 39th and 40th in a time of 2:53. We thought our average speed of 9 mph was not too bad for the course, considering the big hills, muddy woods and rutted tracks, but the first finisher (Paul Lloyd) finished in an amazing 1:26, pedalling at twice our speed! The last finisher crossed the line in 3:35. The sun was shining for the post-cycle social event, which included BBQ, bar and live music in Compton Recreation Ground.

Pangbourne 10K, 13th September Richard T ran this local multi-terrain race with his wife Andrea. They finished together in 1:01:46 (252nd and 253rd). The race winners were Tim Carter (35:45) and Claire Norrish (40:45) and there were 337 finishers.

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Isle of Wight Fell Race Series, 26th & 27th September Sue Seven Compton Harriers travelled to the Isle of Wight to take part in this year’s Fell Races, along with supporters Jan and Mo. Dick, Lucy, Martin, Rich B and Colin have all done this event before, and highly recommended it, so Jonathan and I were also tempted to go along this year. The weather was lovely for the whole weekend – warm, dry and sunny. Some of us travelled down on the Friday afternoon, while others had a 4:30am start on the Saturday morning to catch the 6:00 ferry. We all met up at race HQ, St. Catherine’s School in Ventnor, at 10am to collect our race numbers. We were also given our commemorative race coasters, and Lucy was reprimanded for referring to them as ‘beer mats’! There were three races: a 3.8K on Saturday morning, a 12K on Saturday afternoon, and a 21K on Sunday. All races started by the sea on the Esplanade, and then climbed steeply up through the streets of the town before heading into the countryside. Race 1 (‘St. Boniface Fell’, 3.8km – 235m ascent) was more-or-less straight up the Fell, round the radio mast at the top, then back down the same way. This was my least favourite of the races. I ran (slowly) all the way up the Fell, but competitors who were walking were overtaking me. I found the steep grassy descent equally difficult, as I gingerly picked my way down while others took off like mountain goats! Martin led the Harriers home, ahead of Rich, Jonathan, Lucy, me, Dick and Colin. We upheld the Harriers tradition of going down to the beach and into the sea. While most braved it and went for a swim, I settled for a thigh-deep dip. Rich and Jonathan lunched on chips, ice-cream and beer, but others preferred a sandwich and flapjack. Race 2 (‘Ventnor Horseshoe’, 12km – 443m ascent ) began at 3pm, and took a different path up St. Boniface Fell. With the exception of Lucy, who decided to rest a niggling back injury, we all returned to the start line. This time, I decided to walk up like everyone else around me! The route headed out into fields, stony tracks, and wooded lanes, which provided some welcome shade from the warm sun. I started deliberately steadily but, on reaching a flat firm section along a disused railway line after halfway, I picked up the pace to catch and pass a number of runners. After a mile, we turned up a narrow muddy track and reached ‘the steps’ of which Colin had spoken with fear! Having gone up 10 grassy steps then back on to a flat section, I thought the steps had been mastered. But round a corner loomed the rest of the steps: about 40 huge steps up a wooded bank, with a muchneeded metal rail to haul yourself up! After this came a section which I really enjoyed – a long but very gentle climb up open grassland to the radio mast at the top of the Fell, where Mo was cheering us on and taking photos. I got into a good rhythm and passed a lot of runners. Upon reaching the radio mast, there was a lovely view across the town and out to sea, and the remainder of the race was the same as the downhill section of Race 1. Again, I lost places on the steep grassy downhill, but was able to regain some with a sprint finish on the road up to the end. We had drinks and cake in the Winter Gardens, and then returned to the sea for another dip. For the evening meal Dick and Jan recommended The Buddle Inn in Niton, but warned that it was tucked away down a little lane and difficult to find, so we set off in convoy to follow Dick. However, cars gradually became detached from the convoy, and some of us went round in circles before eventually finding the pub. However, it was well worth the effort as it was a lovely country pub, with great food, and a white dove living above the door. We were joined by Sus and Chris, who had been taking part in a mountain bike / kayak / run event on the other side of the island, and so were just as stiff as the rest of us. Jan and Colin were excited to hear that Wales had narrowly beaten England in their Rugby World Cup match, and they looked very smug for the rest of the evening. After a pleasant meal, we all looked forward to heading back to our comfortable B&Bs for a good night’s sleep, with the exception of Jonathan and Rich who faced, with some trepidation, the prospect of returning to their £15 a night mouldy room. I was expecting my legs to feel battered and stiff on Sunday morning, but they felt much better than I expected (maybe the ice-bath in the sea had worked wonders), so I decided I would give Race 3 (Wroxall Round, 21km – 487m ascent ) a go. Dick was suffering a lot of discomfort, so wisely chose not to do this race, but all the other Harriers were up for it (though I did hear Colin say on the start line “I’m not so sure this is a good idea”). This time we had a more gentle start, setting off along the coastal road to the western end of Ventor, on to the coastal path, and then a gradual 2-mile climb up to the golf course. Again, I started steadily and enjoyed the countryside scenery and the friendly banter with other runners. At 6 miles, we met a road by Wroxall Donkey Sanctuary, where Dick, Jan and Mo were cheering us on and helping a struggling marshal to direct the traffic and the runners. They told me that Jonathan and Rich were not too far ahead and, once on a more open section, I had the boys in my sights. From here, the rest of the route was familiar from Race 2 – the disused railway line, the steps, the gentle grassy climb, then the final steep descent to the finish. Again, I felt good in the second half of the race, and HH October 2015


reeled in a lot of runners (including Jonathan and Rich) on the way up to the radio mast. I put in the effort to open up a gap, as I knew they were far better than me on the downhill section and would be aiming to pass me again! Rich made a gallant attempt with a fast downhill finish, but I had a big enough lead. All six of us successfully completed the race, and then headed to the school hall for tea, cakes and the prizegiving. Four running clubs dominated the top places in every race, with Serpentine Runners, Victoria Park AC, London Frontrunners and Ryde Harriers picking up plenty of awards. However, Compton Harriers were also very well represented: Lucy collected prizes for being 1st FV50 in both Races 1 and 3, while Martin and Sue both received age-category SEAA bronze medals for finishing 3rd over the series of three races. Having had good excuses to avoid taking part in the Fell Races in previous years, I can honestly say that the whole experience was far more enjoyable than I was expecting. Had the weather been awful, I might have come away with a different view, but I would certainly encourage others to have a go in future years – there is a wide range of abilities amongst the participants, you don’t feel guilty about walking (even the leaders walked up some of the hills), fellow competitors are sociable and friendly, the scenery is fantastic, and of course you will have the good company of the ‘Glorious Compton Harriers’.

Lucy Sue Martin Dick Colin Jonathan Rich

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Race 1, 2.4M 26:04 (19th lady) 26:39 (22nd lady) 21:44 (39th) 27:32 (100th) 28:20 (108th) 24:52 (78th) 24:23 (71st)

Race 2, 7M 1:17:27 (20th lady) 1:07:12 (40th) 1:32:58 (104th) 1:29:11 (101st) 1:16:52 (78th) 1:15:46 (72nd)


Race 3, 12M 2:04:48 (25th lady) 1:55:19 (15th lady) 1:45:13 (44th) 2:30:54 (105th) 1:56:59 (72nd) 1:56:02 (68th)

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Handicap Race Sue Eight runners contested the final summer Handicap Race of this year. After heavy rain earlier in the week, the course was a bit muddy in places, but it was a nice autumn evening for running. Helen once again knocked 10 seconds off her previous best to win the race, but a fast finish from George saw him finish only 1 second behind taking the runners-up place. Colin set a season’s best time in finishing 3rd, and Aaron recorded the evening’s fastest time in 4th. Rich T was inspired to speed up when, running past his house on the race route, his wife came out to egg him on. This did the trick, as he held off Sue to the finish. Mo and Jonathan were close behind, so all runners finished within 34 seconds. Well done Helen, and thanks to Jan and John for timing. The next Handicap Race is scheduled for Thursday 29th October, and will be around our winter Village Lap route. Finish Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Position on handicap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Start time

Helen George Colin Aaron Richard T Sue Mo Jonathan

Finish time

Actual time

15:41 15:42 15:53 15:56 16:02 16:05 16:08 16:15

14:03 10:35 11:26 9:25 10:21 9:29 15:33 9:40

1:38 5:07 4:27 6:31 5:41 6:36 0:35 6:35

Handicap Beaten? -0:19 -0:18 -0:07 -0:04 +0:02 +0:05 +0:08 +0:15

Handicap Championship 2015 Nitish still tops the score table, but George’s four high scores have moved him into second place. Aaron is currently third, but will not be able to make either of the final two races, so his final score will remain at 42. Pos.

Name Race 1

1 2 3 4 5= 5= 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Nitish George Aaron Colin Dick Martin Mo Jonathan Sue Lucy Helen Richard D Richard T Pete O Kevin

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10 6 5 12 9 8 7 -

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

Race 3 12 10 8 5 4 7 (3) 6 9 -

Race 4 10 12 9 (5) 7 8 6 4 1


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

7 8 9 4 10 5 6 12 -

Race 7 10 8 9 5 4 6 12 7 -

Race 8

Race 9



Total of best 5 52 44 42 36 35 35 33 31 30 27 24 12 8 6 1

Website update… Mo Layout remains much the same; I have also added a link to RunUltra on our 'Links' page where you can search for past ultra races in addition to future scheduled events. You may remember that I added a race profile page for the Downland Challenge to cover this year's event and this can still be found in the past event search ... or you can click this link to access directly: ... which reminds me, I received the first email this week requesting information about the 2016 Challenge! Other Links of interest this month During the winter months it can be difficult to keep up the enthusiasm for workouts and calorie-burning sessions so how about trying Running Bug's suggestions for a more enjoyable workout; (let me know what you think!). For more Race Listings, and in particular Park Runs, try the following link; . Finally, the pictures I took at the IOW Fell Races can be viewed by using this direct link or by checking out the photo albums on our Facebook page or by clicking the link on the website "Photo" menu. My tips for this month: Essential exercises when injured: We all know how inconvenient it is when an injury occurs, so to keep in a positive frame of mind, there are other parts of the body you should try to exercise to keep up a good level of general fitness which will speed up your return to full fitness. For instance if you are unable to run, try swimming, cycling and walking to keep up a reasonable level of cardiovascular fitness. One of the most common injuries in runners is around the knee joint, which isn't surprising when you realise that when simply walking up stairs, the pressure across your knee joints is four times your body weight! However, even if you already have knee problems, exercising the muscles surrounding the knee joints will help make your knees stronger and less susceptible to injury in the future. The muscles in question are Quadriceps (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh), Abductor (outside thigh), and Adductor (inside thigh). The following exercises are designed to help stretch and strengthen the knee area, not to hurt, so if you experience pain at any time during the exercise, you must stop. For serious knee injury, you should of course always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. STRETCHES  Chair knee extension: Sit in a chair, rest your foot on a stool or other prop so the knee is slightly raised. Gently push the raised knee toward the floor using only leg muscles. Hold for 5 - 10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.  Heel slide knee extension: Lie on your back, with left knee bent and left foot flat on floor. Slowly slide the left heel forward, away from your body until both legs are parallel. Hold for 5 - 10 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 5 times on each leg.  Knee flexion: Sitting in a chair, loop a long towel under your foot (resting on the floor). Gently pull on the towel with both hands to bend the knee, raising your foot 4 - 5 inches off the floor. Hold for 5 - 10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.  Hamstring stretch: Standing, put one foot in front of you, toes up. With hands on the small of your back (or one hand holding a chair for balance), bend forward on the opposite knee and hip (not your lower back), until you feel the hamstrings stretch. The upper body comes forward at the hip. Hold for 5 - 10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg. STRENGTH EXERCISES  Wall slide: Leaning with your back against a wall, bend your knees 30°, sliding down the wall, then straighten up again. Move slowly and smoothly, using your hands on the wall for balance. Keep feet and legs parallel, and do not allow knees to go out over the toes. Repeat 5 - 10 times.  Bent-Leg Raises: Sitting in a chair, straighten one leg in the air (without locking the knee). Hold for about one minute. Bend your knee to lower the leg about halfway to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Work up to 4 reps on each leg.  Straight-Leg Raises: Sitting in a chair, rest your foot on another chair. Lift the foot a few inches off the chair while keeping your leg straight. Hold for 5 - 10 seconds. Return to resting position. Repeat 5 - 10 times. (Also work on increasing the time, up to 2 - 3 minutes if possible.)  Abductor Raise: Lie on your side, propped on one elbow. Keep the leg on the floor bent, the other straight. Slowly lift the top leg, hold for 5 - 10 seconds, then lower. (Ankle weights will increase the intensity). Do 1 3 sets with 12 - 15 repetitions each. Remember to rest in between sets. HH October 2015


Hamstring Curl: Stand with the front of your thighs against a surface (a table or wall). Flex one knee up as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 - 10 seconds, then lower slowly. If possible, do not touch the floor between repetitions. (Ankle weights will increase the intensity.) Do 1 - 3 sets with 12 - 15 repetitions each. Remember to rest in between sets. Step-Ups: Stand in front of a step, like a sturdy bench or stairs, about two feet high (or less if necessary). Step up onto the support, straighten your knees fully (without locking them) and step down. Maintain a steady pace. If you are comfortable with your balance, pump your arms while doing this exercise. Start with 1 minute, slowly building your time. Gets your heart pumping too!

Try 3 stretching and 3 strengthening exercises, 3 - 4 times a week. Stretching can be (and should be) done everyday if possible to prevent stiffness and aching joints. If you have increased soreness or pain after doing these exercises, it may help to ice your knee or knees for 10 - 20 minutes. Place a bag of ice (or frozen vegetables) over the joint, with a towel between to protect the skin. Elevate your leg on a chair if ice alone is inadequate. Boosting your Immune System: Having just contracted a rather annoying cold, I thought I would look into ways of boosting my immune system for the autumn and winter periods ahead. Here are a few suggestions to improve your immune system: 

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Maintain the Calories: Runners with low energy availability are particularly susceptible to upper respiratory-tract infections (coughs and colds), so ensure you maintain a calorie intake that supports training and normal body function. Eat enough fat: For optimal immune function, about 25% of a runner's total calorie intake should come from fat. Foods such as eggs, red meat, oily fish, nuts, avocados, olive oil, butter, full fat dairy and coconut should ensure you’re getting sufficient dietary fat. Take Vitamin D supplement: Vitamin D is required for a healthy immune system and, unless you spend most of your time bathing in sunshine (the natural source of vitamin D), you are likely to need a boost in the autumn/winter period to maintain a healthy immune system. Eat Offal: Not for vegetarians, but if you can manage to eat more liver and kidney, it will provide fat, plenty of protein, a variety of vitamins and also zinc which plays a central role in the immune system. Take a probiotic: Various scientific tests have shown that athletes taking these micro-organisms through yoghurt or dietary supplements are 35 - 40% less likely to catch coughs and colds lasting 7 days or more.

Events of Interest – see Website Training & Events Calendar for more details: Sun, 04 Oct: Sun, 11 Oct: Sun, 18 Oct: Sat, 24 Oct: Sun, 25 Oct: Sat, 31 Oct: Sun, 01 Nov: Sat, 07 Nov: Sun, 08 Nov: Sun, 15 Nov: Sun, 22 Nov: Sun, 29 Nov: Sun, 06 Dec: Sun, 13 Dec: Sun, 20 Dec: Mon, 28 Dec: Sun, 10 Jan:

HH October 2015

09:00 Reading O2O 10K • 10:30 Clarendon Mthn & ½Mthn • Blenheim Palace ½ & 10k 11:00 Hanney 5 09:30 Henley ½ Mthn & 10k • 10:00am Oxford ½ Mthn • Ridgeway Run 15k (Trail) 09:00 Abingdon Marathon • 10:00 Frieth Hilly 10k • 10:00 Tadley Runners 10 Mile 10:30 Fairoaks 5mile & 10mile 09:00 Beachy Head Marathon & 10k 10:00 The Stickler 10.1miles (MT) • Water of Life ½ & 10K (Bisham Abbey) 10:48 Great South Run 10 miles 09:30 Burnham Beeches 10k & 5k 09:30 Marlow ½ Mth & 7miles • 10:00 Muddy Mo Run (10Mile & 10K) 10:30 Thames Meander Half & Full Marathon 10:00 Grand Union Canal ½ Mthn 10:00 Rugged Radnage 10K 10:00 9Bar Chilly 10K (Castle Combe) • 10:30 Meon Valley Marathon 10:00 Mapledurham Ten - 10k & 10 Miles • 10:30 Eynsham 10k 11:00 Tadley Runners Xmas XC 5.2 10:30 Andy Reading 10km 10:00 Muddy Welly 10K & 5k Trail • 11:00 Hooky Xmas Canter 7miles 10:00 Gut Buster 2015 - 10k & 10 Miles 10:30 Woodcote 10k • 11:00 Rough 'n' Tumble 10 8


Compton Harriers Running Club - October 2015 monthly newsletter